With the Alzheimer's Association International Conference underway in Washington, DC, there's been a big focus on the late-stage pipeline. But scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center were focused on new animal data that they say supports work on a new group of antibodies that can tackle two of the chief culprits behind the brain-damaging disease.NYU Langone Center for Cognitive Neurology director Thomas Wisniewski
The team, led by Fernando Goni, an adjunct associate professor of neurology, and Thomas Wisniewski, director of the Center for Cognitive Neurology at NYU Langone, are concentrating on novel antibodies which they say target proteins which misfold, triggering both the amyloid and tau clusters that are frequently cited as a likely cause of Alzheimer's. And the same approach, they add, could work on Parkinson's disease.
What sets these antibodies apart, they say, is that they hit the suspect proteins in a soluble state, tackling the proteins at an intermediate or "oligomer" stage prior to the cascade that appears to create the most serious damage.
"There is a commonality underlying the misfolding in many neurodegenerative diseases and we are targeting it. We are confident this is the right strategy and our monoclonals are showing they are up to the task," says Goni. "There is potential for specific therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases."
The team tested three different antibodies in animal models for the disease as well as in brain tissue from patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
"We have been developing this strategy for many years, and now we have results. Other labs are trying similar strategies", says Wisniewski. "The importance of this concept is being increasingly recognized."
- here's the release