‘Remarkable milestone’: Researchers launch first clinical trial of nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease

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BOSTON (WJW) — The first human clinical trial is underway for a nasal vaccine meant to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to a press release from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the trial comes after 20 years of research.

“The launch of the first human trial of a nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s is a remarkable milestone,” said Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at the Brigham “Over the last two decades, we’ve amassed preclinical evidence suggesting the potential of this nasal vaccine for AD. If clinical trials in humans show that the vaccine is safe and effective, this could represent a nontoxic treatment for people with Alzheimer’s, and it could also be given early to help prevent Alzheimer’s in people at risk.” 

According to the press release, the vaccine uses immune modulator Protollin, which stimulates the immune system. It’s designed to activate white blood cells found in the lymph nodes on the sides and back of the nec to migrate to the brain. It then triggers clearance of beta amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The clinical trial will involve 16 participants between the ages of 60 and 85 that have early, symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. They’ll recieve two doses of the nasal vaccine one week apart, according to the release.

The objective of the trial is to determine the safety and tolerability of the nasal vaccine, according to the release. Researchers will also measure the effect of Protollin on the participants’ immune response.

“The immune system plays a very important role in all neurologic diseases,” said Weiner. “And it’s exciting that after 20 years of preclinical work, we can finally take a key step forward toward clinical translation and conduct this landmark first human trial.”

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