Finding a way to slow the progression, effectively prevent and ultimately cure Alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest healthcare challenges of our time. More than 47 million people are living with Alzheimer's and dementia worldwide — a number that can only be changed for future generations through research.
Part the Cloud is committed to funding novel research ideas to determine if they will be effective treatments for the millions of people affected by Alzheimer's.
While the vast increase in our understanding of Alzheimer's has led to the identification of promising targets for new therapies, the process of developing and testing potential therapies is long and complex, taking years and substantial resources. Many promising research ideas stall due to lack of funding.
Most grants support middle and latter clinical trials, but there are few funding sources to support the earlier phase studies needed to test drug treatments in people. Part the Cloud addresses this critical gap, supporting early phase clinical studies and helping accelerate the transition of findings from the laboratory into possible therapies.
Since 2012, Part the Cloud has generated over $20 million in funding for Alzheimer's research, making it possible for the Alzheimer's Association to award 23 additional research grants during this time. These awards span a variety of targets in Alzheimer's disease research and fall under the leadership of some of the nation's most prestigious scientists and universities.
The following PTC grant recipients attended the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference in London and spoke at a panel about how PTC has impacted their research:
Since receiving grants from Part the Cloud all three of these researchers have gone on to receive additional funding from the NIH and we look forward to sharing additional updates as their research progresses.
Our Mission: To fund Alzheimer's research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or ultimately curing Alzheimer's disease.donate
Krista L. Lanctot, Ph.D., Sunnybrook Research Institute (Ontario, Canada)
Linking GSH and Cognitive Response: A Pilot Phase 2a Study of NAC in VCIND
Lanctot and colleagues will evaluate whether a compound known as N-acetylsysteine (NAC), which can boost glutathione production, may improve cognition and brain health in the study's participants. As part of this effort, the participants will receive a series of cognitive tests to determine how NAC treatment may improve cognitive function over time. Learn more.
Manfred Windisch, Ph.D., Neurokine Therapeutics, LLC (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Phase 1 Study of MW150: Novel Stress Kinase Inhibitor Candidate
Windisch and colleagues will devote their research grant to conducting a phase 1 human clinical trial of MW150. The trial will determine what dosage levels of the drug are safe and tolerated with an ascending dose study in humans. It will also clarify how the drug is absorbed and metabolized in the human body. For this effort, the investigators will test their drug on older human volunteers without dementia. The participants will be grouped in cohorts of 10. Eight people in each group will receive the drug, while the other two will receive a placebo. Learn more.
Part the Cloud is thrilled to announce the Part the Cloud Challenge to RESCUE (REverse, reStore, Cease and UndErstand) Brain Cell Degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, which aims to accelerate therapeutics and discovery of innovative compounds to be used in early clinical trials.
The Challenge will fund human studies to advance innovative ideas for early phase human trials (Phase 1 or Phase 2a proof of concept) that addresses therapies to target neuron cell health in Alzheimer's disease — this could include, but is not limited to, therapies to address synaptic dysfunction, neurogenesis and neuronal protection.
Up to six projects will be awarded $1 million each, and after two years, the experimental approach that shows the most promise will be considered for an additional $4 million investment. Learn more.
A first-of-its kind competition, the Part the Cloud Neurodegeneration Challenge was created to deepen our understanding of neurodegeneration and accelerate therapeutics to be used in early clinical trials. Scientists throughout the globe were invited to submit proposals that could translate into human trials of treatments targeting neuroinflammation with the goal of improving cognition in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases.
The hope: to fund research that increases our understanding of neurodegeneration and accelerates the development of new therapies to slow, stop, or prevent its progression.
Neuroinflammation is prevalent in many diseases of the brain. Identifying therapies that target this process will have broad implications for treating a large number of the devastating brain diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's.
From 60 proposals submitted from 14 countries, four researchers were awarded $1 million each to develop their proposals over a two-year period. After two years, projects will be evaluated, and the most outstanding project will be awarded an additional $3 million prize to take their project and the field to the next level.
Forty international scientists peer-reviewed the applications.
Dr. Linda Van Eldik, University of Kentucky
Title: Phase 1b MAD Study of a Novel Drug (MW189) Targeting Neuroinflammation
Phase 1b multiple dose safety study of a novel drug, MW189, that targets a specific type of immune cell and reduces its activity, targeting inflammation pathways seen in disease.
Dr. Joseph Foss, NeuroTherapia, Inc.(Cleveland, OH)
Title: A Phase I single ascending dose safety and pharmacokinetic study of NTRX-07
Phase I safety study of a single dose for the experimental drug NTRX-07; NTRX-07 targets the cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CBR2) which is involved in the body's innate immunity and thought to be increased in Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Mark Tuszynski, University of California, San Diego
Title: A Clinical Trial of BDNF Gene Therapy in Alzheimer’s Disease
Phase 1 safety study on BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) gene therapy using a novel technology to target delivery and provide nutrients to the brain cells most impacted in Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Frantz Hefti, Proclara Biosciences(Cambridge, MA)
Title: Phase 1 study with NPT088, a fusion protein to treat Alzheimer's disease
Phase 1 safety study of novel drug NPT088; NPT088 is thought to target proteins that clump together, including beta-amyloid and tau protein, two hallmark brain changes in Alzheimer’s.
Paul A. Newhouse, Vanderbilt University
Title: Phase 1 Testing of a Muscarinic M1 PAM for Alzheimer's Disease
Newhouse and colleagues will test a novel drug,VU0467319, which acts on the muscarinic system in the brain that controls cell-cell communication and nerve cell function. As the first drug of this type to be tested in humans, this study will not only advance a potential therapeutic for Alzheimer's but will also open up the door to this entire class of drugs for future exploration. Learn more.
Mitchel Kling, University of Pennsylvania
Title: A Biomarker-Based Trial of Plasmalogen Repletion in MCI/AD
Kling and colleagues will conduct a Phase 1 clinical study to investigate the man-made lipid, PPI-1011, a type of plasmalogen. This study will not only advance a potential therapeutic for Alzheimer's into Phase 2 but will also advance our understanding of plasmalogen as a marker of biological significance in Alzheimer's. .
Stephen Cunnane, Ph.D., University of Sherbrooke - Québec, Canada
Title: Proof of Mechanism of a New Ketogenic Supplement Using Dual Tracer PET
This Phase 1b/2a clinical trial will examine the safety and effectiveness of a novel dietary supplement as an alternative fuel source for the brain to stabilize or reverse declining memory observed in early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The scientists will use advanced brain imaging to determine if the proposed therapy improves brain blood flow, energy use and helps preserve memory function.
Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - New York, New York
Title: BDPP Treatment for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Prediabetes
This Phase 1b clinical trial will examine the safety and tolerability of a combination treatment using three grape-derived compounds in people with very early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This novel treatment contains a mixture of polyphenols, which are plant compounds thought to support brain health.
Russell Swerdlow, M.D., University of Kansas Medical Center - Fairway, Kansas
Title: Trial of Oxaloacetate in Alzheimer's Disease (TOAD) Study
This Phase 1b clinical trial will examine the safety and effectiveness of oxaloacetate as an alternative energy source to improve brain function in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Providing the brain an alternative fuel source may help slow or prevent brain changes associated with the disease process.
Update: Dr. Russell Swerdlow, PTC 2015 awardee, discusses possible biological pathways important for Alzheimer's disease in recent PRI interview
Tim West, Ph.D., C2N Diagnostics - St. Louis, Missouri
Title: A Single Ascending-Dose, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study of an Anti-Tau Antibody
This Phase 1 clinical trial will examine the safety and effectiveness of an antibody against tau to treat various dementias, including Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Alzheimer's disease. The results will inform future clinical trials designed to determine if the antibody removes tau from the human brain and results in improved cognitive function.
Update: PTC 2015 awardee C2N Diagnostics partners with AbbVie for advancing tau antibodies in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease and Progressive Superior Palsy (PSP)
Whitney Wharton, Ph.D., Emory University - Atlanta, Georgia
Title: Mechanistic Potential of Antihypertensives in Preclinical Alzheimer's
This Phase 1b clinical trial will determine if the FDA-approved antihypertensive drug, perindopril, may work by mechanisms other than lowering blood pressure to ultimately reduce Alzheimer's risk in African-Americans with a family history of Alzheimer's disease.
Adam L. Boxer, M.D, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Title: Phase I Multiple Ascending Dose Trial of the MT Stabilizer TPI-287 for AD
Dr. Boxer and his team are working to moderate the stability of microtubules — small, tube-like structures that act like a skeleton inside cells, maintain cell structure and help to transport nutrients throughout the cell —potentially decreasing the abnormal buildup of tau protein into tangles, one of the hallmark brain changes of Alzheimer's disease.
Update: UCSF team – led by Adam Boxer - launched the safety clinical study with TPI-287. Further, Dr. Boxer received a significant award to establish a clinical research team to study loss of brain cell function in dementias.
Dr. Adam Boxer is highlighted as part of the international tau partnership supported by Richard Rainwater.
Frank Longo, M.D., Stanford University and Anne Longo, Pharmatrophix, Inc.
Title: Phase I Trial for P75 Receptor Ligand
This study aims to test a therapy that targets the cell death pathway associated with Alzheimer's disease by inhibiting a known component. The researchers hope to ultimately determine whether this decreases the detrimental effects of Alzheimer's in the brain.
Update: Dr. Frank Longo and his group at Pharmatrophix are gearing up to launch their next clinical study thanks to the success of their initial safety study, partially funded by PTC.
Dr. Frank Longo, PTC 2013 recipient, is part of team investigating underlying biology of why stroke may be a risk factor for dementia.
Ahmad Salehi, M.D., Ph.D., Palo Alto Institute for Research & Education, Inc.
Title: Improving ß2 Adrenergic Signaling in Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers at the Palo Alto Institute for Research & Education, Inc., are exploring potential therapeutics to improve the health of brain connections thought to play an early role in the disease processes.
Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Title: An Exploratory Safety, PK/PD, and Preliminary Efficacy Study of F03 in MCI
This study strives to impact the activity level of Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), the complex responsible for the production of the beta amyloid — thereby potentially influencing the amount of beta amyloid produced in the brain.
Update: Part the Cloud awardee Dr. Dale Bredesen published a report on 10 individuals who saw reversal of cognition issues following a personalized lifestyle-intervention.
Keith Vossel, M.D., University of California, San Francisco and Gladstone Institute for Neurological Disease
Title: Phase 2a Levetiracetam Trial for AD-Associated Network Hyperexcitability
Led by Dr. Keith Vossel, these scientists are working to moderate the amount of underlying electrical activity of the brain cells associated with Alzheimer's disease to potentially impact the rate an individuals' cognition declines.
Mike Weiner, MD., University of California, San Francisco
The Part the Cloud initiative also supported, in part, Mike Weiner, MD (principal investigator of ADNI) and the Whole Genome Sequencing Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (WGS-ADNI), a project to sequence the whole genome of more than 800 individuals. The genome data will be available to researchers around the world this summer, enabling further study of the genes related to Alzheimer's.
Update: The competitive renewal of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), where Mike Weiner, MD serves as principal investigator, got a very good score after review at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will be funded for 5 more years, making it the largest funded program on Alzheimer's in the United States.