A new drug developed at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom that might help to prevent early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and is about to enter clinical trials.
The number of individuals affected by dementia is constantly increasing. According to estimates, there are 850,000 cases in the United Kingdom currently, with estimates that the number of patients will reach more than a million by 2021. Alzheimer’s disease is the most frequent cause of dementia. It occurs when the beta-amyloid protein forms senile plaques that clump together in the brain, causing damage to nerve cells and leading to confusion and memory loss.
Neuroscience Professor David Allsop along with Mark Taylor from the Faculty of Health and Medicine have advanced a new drug which has been shown in laboratory tests to reduce the amount of senile plaques, brain inflammation and oxidative damage linked to Alzheimer’s.
A patent application was filed by Lancaster University for the drug and it will be advanced into clinical trials by MAC Clinical Research. If it successfully overcomes regulatory protocols, the ultimate goal is to test the drug on those with mild memory loss symptoms.
Allsop, the first scientist to ever isolate senile plaques from the human brain, noted: “It is encouraging that our drug is being taken forward and will be tested on humans. Many people who are mildly forgetful may go on to develop the disease because senile plaques start forming years before any symptoms manifest themselves. The ultimate aim is to give the drug at that stage, to stop any more damage to the brain.”
Steve Higham, MAC Clinical Research’s representative said: “Preventing Alzheimer’s disease progression remains a critical unmet need for millions of people worldwide. With that in mind we are very pleased to begin this exciting partnership with Professor David Allsop, his team and Lancaster University.”
James Pickett, Alzheimer’s Society’s Head of Research added: “There’s a tremendous need for new treatments that can stop the development of dementia in its tracks. Trials in people are an essential step in the development of any new drug so it’s really positive to see this promising research being taken forward. Alzheimer’s Society will continue to fund drug development research like this to ensure the best new treatments reach the people who desperately need them as soon as possible.”