Phase 1 Trial to Test AL002, Targeting Brain’s Immune System, as Way of Treating Alzheimer’s

Phase 1 Trial to Test AL002, Targeting Brain’s Immune System, as Way of Treating Alzheimer’s
Alector’s candidate immune system-targeting therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, called AL002, will be evaluated for safety and tolerability in a first Phase 1 clinical trial, the company announced. AL002 is an antibody that targets and activates TREM2 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2), a receptor selectively expressed on microglia — a group of cells that act as the main form of immune defense in the central nervous system. Boosting TREM2 levels in the brain may ease the severity of Alzheimer’s, or stop disease progression, by promoting a more optimal response among microglia. Studies have also associated mutation in the normal sequence of the TREM2 gene with an increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. “[W]e believe that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a dysfunctional brain immune system that, due to aging or genetic mutations, fails to clear pathological proteins, nourish nerve and glial cells, and promote neuronal connections,” Arnon Rosenthal, PhD, a co-founder and chief executive officer of Alector, said in a press release. The INVOKE study (NCT03635047), which will soon begin to recruit in Australia, will randomize about 40 healthy adult volunteers to receive single escalating doses of AL002 — participants will be divided into 5 groups — or a placebo solution delivered intravenously (into the blood). This will be followed by a second, multiple-dose (MD) phase, involving about 12 Alzheimer's patients with mild to moderate disease. Its primary goal is to determine the therapy
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