A leading Alzheimer's prevention study is breaking new ground by testing three investigational anti-tau drugs in at-risk families, with at least one anti-tau drug to be tested in combination with an anti-amyloid drug.

DIAN-TU Tau Next Generation – FULLY FUNDED

Principal investigator Randall Bateman, M.D.

Recent research advances are enabling the development of experimental drugs to stop the accumulation of abnormal tau protein in the brain — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Emerging evidence suggests tau “tangles” correlate closely with changes in memory, thinking and reasoning in people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Tau tangles are also associated with other neurodegenerative disorders such as frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and more; collectively these disorders are called “tauopathies.” New understanding of the biological pathways that cause tau to accumulate, combined with the recent development of ways to measure tau in a living person (such as tau PET brain imaging), are enabling — for the first time — the acceleration and testing of innovative therapeutic strategies for tauopathies.

The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) is uniquely positioned to test new experimental anti-tau drugs. One of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s prevention studies, DIAN-TU has been testing potential drug therapies to slow or prevent the accumulation of amyloid protein “plaques,” another hallmark brain change of Alzheimer’s, in people who are living with dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease (DIAD). In individuals who inherit a gene for DIAD, Alzheimer’s-related brain changes may begin up to two decades before they experience any changes to memory, thinking and behavior. Typically, they show symptoms at the estimated age that their parent developed symptoms. Thus, as development of the disease is predictable, studying the DIAD population makes it uniquely possible to test whether drugs can slow or stop Alzheimer’s at an earlier time point. And as the brain changes are similar in DIAD and late-onset Alzheimer’s, the more common form of the disease, scientists believe that a treatment that works for those with DIAD could provide the foundation for the development of treatments and prevention strategies for all people at risk of Alzheimer’s.

The first drug arm of the DIAN-TU Tau Next Generation trial will test an anti-tau drug in combination with an experimental drug targeting amyloid. "With growing evidence that removing amyloid plaques has biologically beneficial effects on amyloid and tau, we believe that targeting both Alzheimer's disease pathologies — amyloid plaques and tau tangles — at the same time can provide the highest chance of success," says DIAN-TU principal investigator Randall J. Bateman, M.D.

This will be the first Alzheimer's prevention trial to target both amyloid and tau with two drugs at the same time. The researchers will evaluate lecanemab, an investigational anti-amyloid drug, and an investigational anti-tau drug known as E2814. The other two drug arms, set to begin later, may also be combined with anti-amyloid drugs.

We seek philanthropic partners to join us in powering DIAN-TU Tau Next Generation. Leveraging a $100 million commitment from the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer's Association has committed to raise $14 million to cover a gap in funding. GHR Foundation, a longtime Association partner and a philanthropic leader of dementia research, is funding half of our commitment with the expectation that we will raise the remainder from our community of generous donors. We hope you will join GHR in advancing this groundbreaking clinical trial with us.

This Project Advances:


Discovery Science


Early Detection





Learn more about the key outcome areas >

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Step Up the Pace is a special initiative to increase philanthropic investment in four key dementia research outcomes areas: Discovery Science, Early Detection, Treatment and Prevention.


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Email: leadershipgiving@alz.org
Phone: 800.272.3900

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