Anthony Oliva, Ph.D.
An innovative clinical trial competition seeks to speed Alzheimer's disease drug discovery. A response of the body's immune system, neuroinflammation is a key process associated with Alzheimer's disease pathways, but its role is complex: Too little inflammation may allow amyloid plaques to form unchecked, while too much may kill vital neurons.
To help find ways of fine-tuning inflammation to delay, prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease, philanthropist Mikey Hoag partnered with the Alzheimer's Association® to advance studies targeting neuroinflammation for possible therapy development. With funding from the Part the Cloud Challenge on Neuroinflammation, the Association made awards of $1 million each to four studies:
In 2019 this unique, goal-driven competition awarded an additional $3 million to the Longeveron team, bringing total funding for the initiative to $7 million, all raised through the Part the Cloud movement.
Longeveron is currently recruiting for a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial involves a total of about 30 participants at four trial sites in Florida. The company's MSC product is derived from the bone marrow of young, healthy adult donors.
Researchers are looking to assess efficacy of the stem cell treatments by examining changes in Alzheimer's disease status in several areas. These include neurological and neurocognitive assessments; quality of life assessments; evaluation of blood inflammatory biomarkers; and evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inflammatory biomarkers and those for tau and beta-amyloid, the biomarkers of Alzheimer's.
"We are hopeful that our research in regenerative medicine will show that controlling inflammation and other disease facets holds a critical key to a breakthrough in ameliorating the devastating effects of Alzheimer's," says Anthony Oliva, Ph.D,, the trial's principal investigator.