from the make-it-happen-before-we-get-old dept.
Scientists have made progress on a cure for Alzheimer's:
Experts at Adelaide's Flinders University have made an Alzheimer's breakthrough that may result in world's first dementia vaccine. Developed by Australian and US scientists, this vaccine may not only prevent but also reverse early stages of Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia.
The Alzheimer's vaccine may be tested on humans within the next two to three years after being bankrolled by the US Government. Scientists from Flinders University and America's Institute of Molecular Medicine and University of California developed the vaccine by targeting proteins in the brain that block neurons.
The formula targets tau proteins and abnormal beta-amyloid that cause Alzheimer's. The scientists are confident that the vaccine would eventually be used as preventative vaccine. According to Flinders University medicine professor Nikolai Petrovsky, the proteins must be removed from the brain as Alzheimer's, and dementia sufferers have lots of these broken down proteins inside.
Pfizer has announced that it will halt efforts to find new treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Meanwhile, Axovant Sciences will halt its studies of intepirdine after it failed to show any improvement for dementia and Alzheimer's patients. The company's stock price has declined around 90% in 3 months:
Pfizer has announced plans to end its research efforts to discover new drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The pharmaceutical giant explained its decision, which will entail roughly 300 layoffs, as a move to better position itself "to bring new therapies to patients who need them."
"As a result of a recent comprehensive review, we have made the decision to end our neuroscience discovery and early development efforts and re-allocate [spending] to those areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients," Pfizer said in a statement emailed to NPR.
[...] Despite heavily funding research efforts into potential treatments in the past, Pfizer has faced high-profile disappointment in recent years, as Reuters notes: "In 2012, Pfizer and partner Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) called off additional work on the drug bapineuzumab after it failed to help patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's in its second round of clinical trials."
Another potential treatment for neurodegenerative disorders — this one developed by Axovant, another pharmaceutical company — also found itself recently abandoned. The company dropped its experimental drug intepirdine after it failed to improve motor function in patients with a certain form of dementia — just three months after it also failed to show positive effects in Alzheimer's patients.
Looks like GlaxoSmithKline got a good deal when they sold the rights to intepirdine to Axovant Sciences in 2014.
Also at Bloomberg.
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