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

full
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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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

Related article:  People with autism more likely to experience headaches and epilepsy
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend