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Alzheimer's breakthrough "encouraging": Professor Kevin Moffat on the drug aducanumab

A breakthrough in Alzheimer's treatment was reported today, as a new drug is showing 'tantalising' results.

Professtor Kevin Moffat from the School of Life Sciences comments on this development:


"The clues in the name “Aducanumab” – those last three letters “mab” tell us this is a new imunotherapy and it has promising results for the treatment of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The developers from Neurimmune, a biopharm company in Switzerland, specialise in so called “immunotherapies” and have several trials in association with the US company Biogen looking at a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Today they published the early promising pre-clinical data for a treatment of AD.

The data is very encouraging and follows on from conference proceedings seen in March 2015. The “drug” has been developed by painstakingly searching for antibodies from human subjects that bind to one of the hallmark proteins associated with AD - amyloid. This protein is the basis of the famous “plaques “ on the brain first described by Alois Alzheimer in the early 20th Century.

The current report describes the engineering of human antibodies, their use in both humans and mice to explore their efficacy and impressively the clinical outcomes in a phase 1b trial. It appears that this new drug can reduce plaque load by 70% and significantly slow down cognitive decline in patients with mild AD.

While promising at high doses there were side-effects, particularly in fluid on the brain. Phase 3 trials are currently running world wide."

September 1, 2016

Further information:

Luke Walton

International Press Officer

L dot Walton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

02476 150 868

07824 540 863