Cognitive Decline in Mild Alzheimer’s Slowed with Azeliragon

Cognitive Decline in Mild Alzheimer’s Slowed with Azeliragon
Data from a Phase 2b clinical trial showing that  vTv Therapeutics's investigational drug, azeliragon, slows cognitive decline in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2016 in Toronto this week. Azeliragon is a drug that blocks the receptor RAGE (Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts) in the brain. Normally found in low numbers in a healthy brain, RAGE numbers increase during inflammation. Examinations of deceased Alzheimer’s patients indicate that RAGE numbers seem to correlate with disease severity and progression. The higher number affects both neurons and glial cells in the brain, and is linked to blood vessel dysfunction — another key factor that influences dementia development. Preclinial studies have shown that blocking the receptor impacts several processes that researchers believe contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. It reduces the accumulation of amyloid-beta and prevents the formation of fibrils made up of the tau protein. Azeliragon also dampens brain inflammation. The study compared azeliragon to placebo in a randomized, double-blind manner — with neither patient nor study staff aware of which treatment a patient received. Evaluated were 399 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, who had been treated with cholinesterase inhibitors or Namenda (memantine). The trial initially explored two dosing strategies. The higher dosing regimen was initiated with 60 mg azeliragon per day for six days, followed by a maintenance dose of 20 mg per day for 18 months. Patients receiving the lower dose started with 15 mg per day for six days, followed by
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