Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s has been a battle for scientists and researchers for years. Researchers even created a game that people can play to help detect early stages of Alzheimer’s. There have been many new drugs created to help cure and improve the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, but failed. The latest drug has passed the first phase of human
testing. The researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, in Germany, developed the drug, named PRI-002. The drug can be distributed in tablet or capsule form, and researchers are very hopeful for phase 2 of human testing.
How It Works
The new drug, PRI-002, eliminates the toxic beta-amyloid oligomers, which is the protein that scientists suspect causes Alzheimer’s. These amyloid proteins clump together long before any symptoms appear. Other drugs in the past would stimulate the immune system to attack the amyloid plaques formed. However, PRI-002 directly breaks down the amyloid oligomers themselves. In early animal studies, the drug not only shows promise of preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s but can reverse cognitive decline as well.
“We were able to show that mice with symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s had an improvement in cognitive performance after treatment with PRI-002,” says Janine Kutzsche, a scientist working on the preclinical studies. “The memory and cognition of the treated mice were significantly improved compared to the placebo group and could no longer be distinguished from the memory performance of healthy mice.”
After the mice were given extensive testing and showed promising results, humans were the next to take a trial of the drug to make sure that consumption is safe. A group of healthy volunteers took daily dosages of PRI-002 for 4 weeks. The results showed that this new Alzheimer’s drug passed human safety testing because it produced no major effects, even at the highest dosage.
“The drug concentrations in the blood reached the values that had previously been therapeutically effective in animal models,” says Dieter Willbold, one of the scientists working on the project. “Now we were also able to demonstrate the safety of the compound after four weeks of daily administration.”
The drug is moving into Phase II human clinical trials. It will take years to complete the trial to make sure it is effective and completely safe for humans with Alzheimer’s. Hopefully, this new drug will be the answer we have all been waiting for.