July 12, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


Join MANA - A National Latina Organization, UsAgainstAlzheimer's, and Florida International University for the “Advancing Brain Health Equity in Communities of Color” briefing. Panelists will place a spotlight on policies that improve early detection of Alzheimer's disease, support family caregivers and catalyze research to deliver cures and better care. Moderated by LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Lead Jason Resendez, with panelist Stephanie Monroe, AfricanAmericanAgainstAlzheimer's Lead, among other notables. July 24, 2019, 11am-12pm, On the Hill. Registration required.


A July 10, 2019 Healthline article looked at new directions and alternative strategies for approaching Alzheimer’s disease research, especially in the wake of so many recent failed amyloid drug trials. Smaller labs have moved into this ‘void’ to investigate novel avenues such as brain inflammation, including the use of stem cells, focused ultrasound and genetics. “You’re starting to see a diversification of drug targets, partially because of the high-profile failures. But I would say this is equally, if not more, because the kinds of tools that those researchers have available to them now actually allow them to look at those targets. They’ve become a tractable problem, rather than an intractable problem,” said Keith Fargo, PhD of the Alzheimer’s Association.


A July 11, 2019 WBUR article spotlighted work from MIT scientists who used CRISPR to edit RNA in order to try and treat Alzheimer’s disease. They altered APOE4, which raises the risk of developing AD, into APOE2. According to the article, “RNA editing alleviates some concerns about DNA editing, [lead co- author Omar] Abudayyeh says. For example, some worry that DNA editing could miss its targets and cause permanent harm. RNA editing methods get around that risk, he says, because its effects are not permanent. So editing RNA could modulate someone's genetics temporarily to improve their health, Abudayyeh says: "It's almost like a small, pill-like version of gene therapy.””


According to a July 12, 2019 NY Post article, Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, whose father is in a memory care facility, is taking on the issue of Alzheimer’s disease. Her new plan includes increased funding for research and a refundable tax credit (between $100 - $150 billion) to offset the costs of long-term care.


A July 11, 2019 Market Watch article announced that Amgen and Novartis are discontinuing their CNP520 (umibecestat ) BACE1 inhibitor Alzheimer's disease prevention therapy study because results showed patients worsening. “An assessment of unblinded data during a regular pre-planned review identified worsening in some measures of cognitive function. The sponsors concluded that the potential benefit for participants in the studies did not outweigh the risk,” the companies said jointly.

A July 10, 2019 Alzforum article reported that the sigma-1 activator drug edonerpic maleate (T-817MA) did not slow cognitive decline in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. In a year-long, Phase 2 trial, those taking the drug fared no better on the ADAS-cog (Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale) than those taking placebo. According to the study authors, “The clinical outcomes of three Phase 2 trials do not provide evidence of clinical proof of concept for edonerpic maleate for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.”