Held in Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, this year’s CTAD conference filled its chosen venue to fire regulation capacity. The space bustled with scientists heading to talks, posters, and various private meetings in rooms up and down the hallways. Despite a notable absence of success stories for large trials, a sense of optimism pervaded the scene, which stands in marked contrast to a public perception of all-failure-all-the-time in Alzheimer disease trials. True, verubecestat data was flat-out negative in mild to moderate AD and some scientists began to fret about a possible class effect, but on the other hand, several anti-Aβ antibodies posted evidence of removing amyloid plaque reasonably safely from the human brain, and all breaks were off on prep work for multiple large-scale prevention trials in the preclinical phase of this long disease. CTAD news ran the gamut from creative approaches to developing drugs (think young men’s plasma fraction) to creative approaches to measuring subtle cognitive change (think burst mobile tests and digital pen), to on-the-spot ApoE genotyping (think cube). Learn the latest with our 13-part news series.
Alzheimer’s science has undergone a paradigm shift toward the disease’s silent phase. For trials, this means change at every level: new participants, new screening tools, new outcome measurements. What’s the progress?
Tau’s apparent lockstep with cognitive decline dominated the PET conversation. Piramal flaunted data, and Merck/Cerveau are close behind. A first stab at imaging synapses in the hippocampus drew notice, too.
Clinical validation is showing automated Elecsys, Lumipulse assays to be reliable and predictive. The story on blood tests has turned from non-starter to intensely promising for broad-based screening.
Who doesn’t dread hours of testing at a clinic? Innovation needed! Learn about frequent “burst” testing via mobile app, and a digital pen that captures more information than the old paper-and-pencil test.
Recruitment, recruitment, recruitment: Registries get creative in how they promote research engagement and fill prevention trials.
Presented at CTAD, BACE inhibitor’s efficacy and safety results in mild to moderate AD were encouraging to some clinicians, vaguely disquieting to others.
Gradually raising the dose of this therapeutic antibody appears to ease the risk of brain inflammation.
In a Phase 2 trial in nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s, this new drug mitigated symptoms safely, without detriment to cognition.
Phase 1 trial tests the rejuvenating effects of young blood, while albumin replacement may offer its own benefits.
Ephemeral as they may be, these maligned peptides have become the targets of small-molecule and immunotherapies. Initial results of these efforts to catch and remove Aβ oligomers are trickling in.
Besides the big-gun antibodies and BACE inhibitors, smaller, lesser-known drug programs are inching their way through the clinical trials pipeline. As is often the case, Phase 1 seems encouraging.
Null results ended the development of the neuroprotective drugs edonerpic and abeotaxane, the AMPA receptor modulator S47445, and the dietary formulation tricaprilin.
At recent CTAD conference, Rachelle Doody called on her colleagues to learn from failures and work together to support better drug evaluation studies.