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Alzheimer's disease (AD)

b-Site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1)

Rodent studies identified a BACE1 inhibitor that could help treat AD. In mice and guinea pigs, a single oral dose of the BACE1 inhibitor AZ-4217 potently inhibited BACE1 and decreased b-amyloid (Ab) levels in the plasma, brain and cerebrospinal fluid compared with vehicle. In a mouse model for AD, Bace1 decreased amyloid deposition compared with vehicle. Next steps could include testing the inhibitor in additional AD models.
Merck & Co. Inc. has the BACE1 inhibitor MK-8931 in Phase II/III testing to treat AD.
At least five other companies have BACE1 inhibitors in Phase II testing or earlier to treat AD.

SciBX 6(26); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.662
Published online July 11, 2013

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Eketjäll, S. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online June 12, 2013;
Contact: Susanna Eketjäll, AstraZeneca Translational Sciences Centre, Solna, Sweden