First-of-Its-Kind Alzheimer's Vaccine Just Passed Safety Tests in Latest Human Trials

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A first-of-its-kind experimental vaccine designed to protect against Alzheimer's disease has passed the latest stage of human trials, scientists report in a new study.
In a phase II clinical trial, the drug candidate AADvac1, developed by biotech company Axon Neuroscience, was shown to be safely tolerated by patients, and to produce a response against certain markers of the disease.

In tests with 193 patients with mild Alzheimer's, 117 of the cohort received AADvac1, while the remainder acted as a control group, receiving a placebo instead.

In the double-blinded, randomized trial, conducted over 24 months, the participants who received AADvac1 took the peptide-based vaccine in 11 doses administered over the course of the trial, and showed high levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody responses.

This, the researchers expect, could make AADvac1 effective against harmful tau protein aggregations in the brain, which are considered one of the primary hallmarks of the condition.

In support of that, the latest trial showed that AADvac1 is linked to slower accumulation of a neurofilament light-chain (NfL) protein, suggesting slower neurodegeneration compared to the patients who received the placebo.

"To the extent of my knowledge, this is the first time that a tau-targeted immunotherapy showed clear evidence of impact on the neurodegenerative process and a strong indication of clinical effect in patients with a confirmed Alzheimer's disease biomarker profile," Petr Novak, first author of the study and the senior clinical research scientist at Axon Neuroscience, told MedPage Today.

But while this "disease-modifying effect" is definitely a promising development to…
Peter Dockrill
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