There is numerous research underway with the aim of finding therapies that prevent or slow down the progression of the disease. Alzheimer’swhich constitutes 60-70% of the more than 55 million cases of dementia that currently exist in the world, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Now, the results of a phase 2 clinical trial open a new avenue of hope for people affected by this disease, since they have shown that the new vaccine ABvac40 created by the Aragonese company Araclon Biotech –from the Grifols Group– which is dedicated to the research and development of therapies and diagnostic methods applied to neurodegenerative diseases, could reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s by up to 38%.
“We are pleased to report the final positive results from the phase 2 study of ABvac40, including a robust immune response with some significant reduction in disease progression, all with a favorable safety profile,” he stated. Jose TerencioCEO of Araclon and Vice President of Innovation and New Technologies at Grifols.
Characteristics of the ABvac40 Alzheimer’s vaccine
ABvac40 is an active vaccine against the Aβ40 peptide indicated for the treatment of patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is administered by subcutaneous injections. The company has announced that human trial results show the drug is safe, and that it triggered a immune response robust against Aβ40 and demonstrated some potential cognitive benefits in early-stage AD patients.
ABvac40 is uniquely designed to target the C-terminus of the Aβ40 peptide and is believed to prevent harmful reactions and avoid the immune triggers responsible for meningoencephalitis, a complication that has been seen in other Alzheimer’s vaccines. New research suggests that the Αβ40 peptide plays a role in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a condition highly prevalent in Alzheimer’s patients.
“Previous vaccines in development for Alzheimer’s disease suffered setbacks due to the harmful side effects of meningoencephalitis. The results obtained to date with ABvac40 validate its clinical potential and position it as a promising therapeutic candidate for early treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. We are eager to determine the next steps of this program,” added Terencio.
The vaccine could stop the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s
The researchers highlighted that although the trial did not have the ability to determine efficacy on neuropsychological scales, patients treated with ABvac40 experienced up to a 38% reduction in disease progression, as reflected by the Mini-Mental State score. Examination (MMSE), suggesting the potential efficacy of ABvac40 in addressing the cognitive impairment associated with EA.
“The ABvac40 vaccine has the potential to alter the course of the disease by exploiting a mechanism believed to drive cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.”
Other neuropsychological tests, such as the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) or the Trial Performance Test (TMT), showed favorable results in the group treated with ABvac40 compared to the group receiving placebo. The global or functional scales showed no differences between the ABvac40 group and the placebo group. Furthermore, volumetric MRI showed a less increase in brain atrophy in the ABvac40 group versus placebo.
The doctor Mercè Boada Rovira, co-founder and medical director of the Ace Alzheimer Center in Barcelona and principal investigator of the study, said: “Despite recent advances in treatment, there is a large unmet need for disease-modifying therapies for the growing population of patients with AD, especially in the treatment of the early phases of the disease. By specifically targeting the Aβ40 peptide, ABvac40 is harnessing a central mechanism thought to drive cognitive decline with potential to alter the course of the disease.”