Figure 1. Blocking amyloid growth. Kroth et al. have designed small molecules to block the formation and growth of amyloid, an aberrant protein thought to cause Alzheimer's disease (AD).

In AD, amyloid precursor protein (APP) is proteolytically cleaved to produce the b-amyloid (Ab) fragment [a]. This fragment is thought to spontaneously fold into an aberrant structural form [b] prone to clumping together in other misfolded molecules of its type [c]. Over time, this oligomeric aggregate grows into a large, structurally repetitive amyloid fibril [d].

AC Immune S.A.'s small molecules bind to the ends of amyloid oligomers and fibrils, blocking their growth [e] and thus preventing AD progression [f].