Oct 11, 2011

Gantenerumab for Alzheimer’s Disease Removes Amyloid Plaques from the Brain

Findings help elucidate how this gantenerumab may help treat Alzheimer's disease

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Gantenerumab for Alzheimer’s Disease Removes  Amyloid Plaques from the Brain
The study described below is early stage Alzheimer's research and medical science. This looks interesting and promising to me.

Please note, this drug is moving to a Phase 2 clinical trial. The clinical trial will be available in 82 locations all over the world.

The next phase of investigation will evaluate the effect of gantenerumab (RO4909832) on cognition and functioning and the safety of the drug in patients with prodromal Alzheimer's Disease. Prodromal more or less means early symptoms that might indicate the start up of a disease. In this case Alzheimer's disease.

If you know someone that is experiencing memory loss beyond what would be considered normal aging, or if you know someone that is starting to have problems doing things that like balancing a checkbook you should consider bringing this clinical trial into their awareness.

If you are related to someone that has Alzheimer's and you are starting to worry that you might be starting to experience memory problems you should look at this study.

For anyone that is worried about Alzheimer's and believes they might be having early symptoms of cognitive impairment they should consider this study.

Here is the best part. You will be tested before entering this clinical trial. This testing will let you know where you stand. If you should be worried and taking action.

All the testing in a clinical trial is free to the participant. This included the pre-admittance testing.

For more information including inclusion and exclusion criteria, the available locations and contact information go here, A Study of Gantenerumab in Patients With Prodromal Alzheimer's Disease.

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Study Shows That Roche's Investigational Drug for Alzheimer's Disease Removes Amyloid Plaques From the Brain

Roche (RO, ROG, RHHBY) today announced the publication of a study demonstrating that its monoclonal antibody gantenerumab removes amyloid plaques from the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The study "Mechanism of amyloid removal in patients with Alzheimer disease treated with gantenerumab" is published today in the October issue of Archives in Neurology.

It is the first time that clinical data has been published for gantenerumab, an investigational compound with a mechanism of action targeted at the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Results from Phase I clinical trials and ex vivo studies demonstrated that gantenerumab treatment results in a dose-dependent reduction of brain amyloid, possibly through phagocytosis via brain microglial cells, whereas amyloid load increased in patients receiving placebo treatment.

"These results and especially the rapidity of the effects observed on amyloid removal are very encouraging and pave the way for the development of a novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease," said Luca Santarelli, Global Head of Roche Neuroscience Disease Translational Area. "Our approach is to utilize biomarkers to diagnose and treat the disease at a very early stage before significant damage to the brain has occurred."

Gantenerumab is an investigational fully human anti-amyloid beta monoclonal antibody designed to bind to amyloid plaques in the brain and remove them. It is hoped that this approach will slow progression of the disease, an outcome that cannot be achieved with currently approved treatments.

"Our objective was not only to demonstrate the effects of gantenerumab on brain amyloid, but also to start elucidating its mechanism of action," added Santarelli, "this is extremely important to fully understand the compound's therapeutic potential for Alzheimer's disease."

Since it is known that amyloid accumulates in patients' brains about 15 years prior to the onset of dementia, ongoing and future clinical studies with gantenerumab will focus on Alzheimer's disease in the early or prodromal phase. It is hoped that early diagnosis and intervention, before significant damage to nerve cells has occurred, will offer optimal benefit to patients.

About the study

The effect of up to six months of treatment with gantenerumab at two different doses or placebo on brain amyloid was measured in 16 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease using positron emission tomography (PET) and the radiotracer 11C-Pittsburgh Compound B. In addition, Alzheimer's disease brain slices from an independent patient sample were incubated with gantenerumab at increasing concentrations and with human microglia in an ex vivo phagocytosis assay.

The next step will be to investigate whether removal of brain amyloid translates into clinical benefit for patients at doses of gantenerumab that reduce brain amyloid and are well tolerated, with a favorable safety profile.

This is the objective of the SCarlet RoAD trial, which is set to investigate the efficacy and safety of gantenerumab in patients in the early or prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease. Early or prodromal Alzheimer's disease is a condition in which a person's memory loss is worse than can be expected by the normal ageing process alone, even though their ability to get on with daily activities is not affected to such an extent that they would be diagnosed with dementia.

The SCarlet RoAD study is currently recruiting 360 patients in 15 countries and will look at the effects that gantenerumab has on participants' ability to remember information, to solve problems and to go about day-to-day activities. For more information: http://www.scarletroadstudy.com/

About gantenerumab (RG1450)

Gantenerumab is an investigational fully human anti-A beta antibody, identified and optimized by phage display technology in cooperation with MorphoSys AG, a Munich-based Biotech. It passes the blood-brain-barrier and has a high capacity to specifically bind to cerebral amyloid plaques. While the exact mechanism of antibody-mediated reduction of the amyloid burden is controversial, there is evidence that upon binding of gantenerumab to amyloid plaques brain-resident microglial cells are activated and clear plaques by a process called phagocytosis.

More information on the putative mechanism of the anti-amyloid action of gantenerumab can be found in a recent article entitled "Gantenerumab: A novel human anti-A beta antibody demonstrates sustained cerebral amyloid-beta binding and elicits cell-mediated removal of human amyloid-beta" published by Roche scientists in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease(2).

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients.


Mechanism of Amyloid Removal in Patients With Alzheimer Disease Treated With Gantenerumab

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room