INDEED - Another encouraging result of antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
Another encouraging result of antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
Timo Grimmer, M.D.
Centre for Cognitive Disorders
Klinikum rechts der Isar
Technical University of Munich
At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) on July 25 2018 the pharmaceutical company Eisai and Biogen announced presented the results of a placebo controlled clinical trial with the monoclonal antibody BAN2401 (Study 201; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01767311). BAN2401 stimulates the human immune system to remove the amyloid deposits which accumulate in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The antibody treatment aims to slow down or even arrest the advancement of the disease, and thus the progression of symptoms, at the stage of prodromal or mild dementia. In the current trial which was in Phase II (at this point of drug development research primarily focuses on safety and optimal dosage) four different doses of the antibody were compared with an ineffective sham preparation (placebo). After 18 months of treatment, study participants who had received the highest dose showed a statistically significant reduction of the amount of amyloid in their brains (Figure 1; amyloid deposits can be visualised using a technology called positron emission tomography (PET)) and a slowing of symptom progression as compared to people who had received placebo (Figure 2). About 10 % of the participants exhibited a transient swelling of the brain, indicating an excessive immune reaction. These results represent another limb in the chain of clinical studies that have yielded similar positive signals for other anti-amyloid antibodies such as aducanumab, crenezumab or gantenerumab. As a next step, researchers will attempt to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of the new antibody in larger trials which are required for the approval of the antibody as a drug. The evidence that is accumulating on anti-amyloid antibodies in Alzheimer’s disease raises hope that in coming years a disease-slowing treatment may become available. People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease who are interested in participating in a clinical trial are welcome to approach one of the trial sites.
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