Alzheimer’s trial seeks to harness the body’s immune system

A patient affected by Alzheimer's disease gestures as he attends a special therapeutic session. Image: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Scientists in academic and corporate labs are already pursuing a host of new approaches that they hope will offer pathways out of the Alzheimer’s doldrums. One idea gaining traction takes a page from the oncology playbook, where drugs that enlist the power of the immune system to attack tumors are transforming cancer treatment and drug discovery.

Alector, a Silicon Valley startup founded six years ago, already has two Alzheimer’s drugs in early human studies designed to strengthen the ability of the brain’s immune system to fight the disease. One of the drugs targets a gene called TREM2 and the other a gene known as SIGLEC3; certain mutations in these genes can contribute to conditions that allow Alzheimer’s to develop. In May, Alector treated its first person with Alzheimer’s with its drug targeting TREM2, and has begun human testing for the drug that targets SIGLEC3 as well.

There is no assurance that Alector’s approach will break the losing streak. “It’s exciting that this company has decided to invest in these clinical trials,” [neuroimmunologist Philip] De Jager says, “but we really don’t know when and how the immune system is involved in the disease.”

Read full, original post: The Future of Alzheimer’s Treatment May Be Enlisting the Immune System

Related article:  Why you may have invented your earliest childhood memories
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend