A Step Closer To The World’s First Alzheimer’s Vaccine

Researchers in the US and Australia have developed a vaccine formulation that targets the two hallmark proteins of Alzheimer’s disease.

AsianScientist (Jul. 21, 2016) – Researchers in Australia and the US have developed a new vaccine formulation for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly, with more than 7.5 million new cases every year.

Called MultiTEP, the new vaccine formulation is a combination of two vaccines that target the hallmark proteins of AD: beta-amyloid and tau. Beta-amyloid has been found to be prominent in driving AD, but the accumulation of pathological tau also correlates with the formation of dementia in AD patients.

This study, published in Scientific Reports, was led by researchers from Flinders University in Australia and the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) and University of California, Irvine (UCI) in the US.

“If we are successful in pre-clinical trials, in three to five years we could be well on the way to one of the most important developments in recent medical history,” said Flinders University School of Medicine Professor Nikolai Petrovsky. Petrovsky is also the director of South Australian vaccine research company Vaxine Pty Ltd.

The quest to develop treatments for a much anticipated cure for AD is costly and lengthy. In the ten years to 2012, 244 compounds were investigated in 413 clinical trials around the world, with only one new drug being approved for temporarily alleviating symptoms of the disease. That is a success rate of 0.4 percent.

According to co-author Professor David Cribbs from UCI, the vaccine formulation does not induce potentially harmful auto-reactive cellular immune responses, while still generating antibodies that bind strongly to the amyloid and tau pathological molecules in brain tissue from AD patients.

“This study suggests that we can immunize patients at the early stages of AD, or even healthy people at risk for AD, using our anti-amyloid-beta vaccine, and, if the disease progresses, then vaccinate with another anti-tau vaccine to increase effectiveness,” said Associate Professor Anahit Ghochikyan from the IMM Department of Molecular Immunology, who is one of the co-authors of the paper.

The research team is working with experts from four companies, including Vaxine, to conduct non-clinical safety-toxicology studies of their vaccine formulation. After completion of these pre-clinical studies, the researchers plan to commence with human trials.

The article can be found at: Davtyan et al. (2016) Alzheimer’s Disease AdvaxCpG-adjuvanted MultiTEP-based Dual And Single Vaccines Induce High-titer Antibodies Against Various Forms Of Tau and Aβ Pathological Molecules.


Source: Flinders University; Photo: Pixabay.
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