Working with biotechnology companies Neurimmune and Biogen, researchers from the University of Zurich (UZH) have developed an antibody that could help treat Alzheimer’s disease. The antibody, which is named Aducanumab, selectively binds the disease-causing brain amyloid plaques, thus enabling these plaques to be removed.
A one-year treatment with the antibody, which was conducted as part of a phase Ib study, resulted in the almost complete clearance of the damaging brain amyloid plaques. “The results of this clinical study make us optimistic that we can potentially make a great step forward in treating Alzheimer's disease,” commented Roger M. Nitsch, professor at the UZH Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in a statement.
Because of the antibody’s positive results, the researchers went on to examine an additional area: they wanted to find out how the treatment affected the symptoms of the disease. Their findings revealed that the treatment also slowed the progressive decline of cognitive ability.
The antibody is now being investigated further in two big phase III clinical trials. These studies are evaluating the effectiveness and safety of the antibody on a total of 2,700 patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease in North America, Europe and Asia.