Trial for potential Alzheimer's preventive

May 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM

PHOENIX, May 15 (UPI) -- A drug trial will test a drug in healthy individuals evidently destined to develop Alzheimer's disease because of their genetic history, U.S. officials say.

Officials of the National Institutes of Health, Banner Alzheimer's Institute, University of Antioquia in Colombia, and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, said the $100 million trial is the cornerstone of a new international collaborative, the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, formed to accelerate the evaluation of promising but unproven prevention therapies.

The study involves the experimental anti-amyloid antibody treatment crenezumab in approximately 300 people from an extraordinarily large extended family in Colombia, who share a rare genetic mutation that typically triggers Alzheimer's symptoms around age 45, officials said.

Drs. Eric M. Reiman and Pierre N. Tariot of Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix will lead the broader initiative, and they also will lead the trial in close cooperation with Genentech's research and clinical team and a Colombian team headed by Dr. Francisco Lopera of Grupo de Neurociencias de Antioquia at the University of Antioquia.

If crenezumab is shown to sustain memory and cognition in people certain to develop Alzheimer's, prevention trials could be designed to test it and other anti-amyloid drugs in a larger segment of the population, Reiman said.

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