Health Day reporter
WEDNESDAY, November 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) – The first human clinical trial of a nasal vaccine to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to begin after nearly 20 years of research.
This is a “remarkable milestone,” according to Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“Over the past two decades, we have amassed preclinical evidence suggesting the potential of this nasal vaccine for AD [Alzheimer’s disease]”Weiner said in a press release from the hospital. If clinical trials in humans show the vaccine to be safe and effective, it could represent a non-toxic treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and it could also be given early to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease in those at risk. “
The vaccine contains an investigational agent called Protollin which stimulates the immune system. It is designed to induce white blood cells in lymph nodes on the sides and back of the neck to migrate to the brain and clear out beta-amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, principal investigator of the trial, “Over the past 20 years, there has been growing evidence that the immune system plays a key role in clearing beta-amyloid. This vaccine harnesses a new arm of the immune system to treat AD. “Chitnis is a professor of neurology at the hospital.
“Research in this area has paved the way for us to explore a whole new avenue to potentially treat not only AD, but other neurodegenerative diseases as well,” she added.
The phase 1 trial will include 16 patients aged 60 to 85 who have early and symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease but are otherwise in good general health. They will receive two doses of the nasal vaccine one week apart.
In addition to assessing the safety of the vaccine and how patients tolerate it, researchers will examine how it affects the immune response, including its impact on white blood cells.
The trial is funded by I-Mab Biopharma and Jiangsu Nhwa Pharmaceutical, developers and manufacturers of Protollin.
The Alzheimer’s Association has more information on Alzheimer’s disease.
SOURCE: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, press release, November 16, 2021
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