The investigational drug aims to block an enzyme involved in the generation of the amyloid peptide, a toxic molecule that is believed to play an essential role in causing Alzheimer’s.
“We are now looking at the stage of Alzheimer’s that precedes even mild symptoms,” said Paul Aisen, founding director of USCATRI and professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “It is our view that drugs such as BACE inhibitors may be most effective at the earliest stages of the disease.”
USC-ATRI’s role in the study is funded by a new contract with Janssen. USC ATRI and Janssen will provide joint oversight for the study; in addition, ATRI will manage study activities at sites in the United States and Canada. Study sites in other countries will be managed by Quintiles.
“There is a lot of optimism that research may be ushering in a new era in Alzheimer’s drug development,” said Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D., head of Alzheimer’s disease clinical development at Janssen. “We may be able to treat the disease using interventions before it becomes advanced, much like you treat high cholesterol to mitigate the risk of heart attacks.”
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