Researchers at Harvard Medical School have teamed up with vaccine maker Mercia Pharma Inc. to design a next-generation Alzheimer's disease vaccine with an adjuvant that promotes a beneficial anti-inflammatory
response that the team hopes will enhance b-amyloid clearance without triggering neuroinflammation.1
AD is caused by accumulation of b-amyloid (Ab), an extracellular protein fragment that forms deposits around neurons. Those deposits, or plaques, trigger neuronal degeneration and attract inflammatory microglia, which further accelerate neuron death. Preventing the formation of Ab plaques or clearing away Ab before it reaches toxic levels is the central focus of AD therapeutic development.
In principle, Ab can be targeted with injected antibodies, but this passive immunotherapy approach has thus far met with failure. Two Ab-binding mAbs-bapineuzumab (AAB-001) from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc. and solanezumab (LY2062430) from Eli Lilly and Co.-failed in Phase III testing to prevent AD