Successful clinical trial could mean Alzheimer’s vaccine is on the horizon

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A Dublin based biotech company has shown positive results in a clinical trial of a vaccine designed to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Bloomberg, United Neuroscience Inc. says that in a recent trial of the vaccine, called UB-311, 96 percent of patients responded to the treatment, without serious side effects.

“We are doing better than the placebo on all these things,” says Chief Executive Officer Mei Mei Hu. “We can’t make any claims yet, but we’re pointing in all the right directions.”

Scientists say there are several suspected causes behind the onset of Alzheimer’s: a build up of amyloids, protiens that clump together in the brain; tau, another group of protiens with similar effects; and inflammation in general.

Researchers have been unable to break the body’s “blood-brain barrier” for treatment of the disease. The blood-brain barrier protects against circulating toxins or pathogens that could cause brain infections, but also screens out the medications which would target the dementia-causing proteins.

United’s vaccine stimulates the patients own immune system to attack amyloid buildup, slowing the protiens’ ability to clump, and possibly reverse some damage and restore brain function.

United’s clinical test consisted of 42 patients who suffered mild cognitive impairment or early onset of Alzheimer’s. The group was split into three; one control group was given a placebo, and two other groups received three shots of the vaccine and boosters every three to six months for a year and a half.

Based on the positive results, the company has been encouraged to continue moving ahead with development of the vaccine, according to Bloomberg.

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