The other patented solution that we have licensed to move to commercialization is AL002 (Formally known as COA22W), a mutant-peptide immunotherapy that is designed to be used both as a vaccine and prophylactic against Alzheimer’s. This therapy is intended to work by stimulating the body’s own immune system to prevent the formation and breakdown of beta amyloids, which build up in the brain to form a “plaque,” and subsequently block the neurological brain signals, ultimately leading to the symptoms and onset of Alzheimer’s. Immunotherapy is the treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response. Immunotherapies that are designed to elicit or amplify an immune response are classified as activation immunotherapies, whereas immunotherapies that reduce or suppress an immune response are classified as suppression immunotherapies. We believe that strategies to strengthen the immune system in the elderly, who are most susceptible to the development of Alzheimer’s, could greatly enhance the effectiveness of immune-based approaches towards Alzheimer’s. Our novel immune-based methodology attempts to inhibit the natural process of immunological aging by restoring the balance of the immune system through immunomodulation.
Beta amyloid protein has been directly linked to Alzheimer’s and the associated neurofibrillary tangles formation seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Specifically, increased levels of extracellular plaques in the brain composed of amyloid beta peptide 1-42 are seen in Alzheimer’s patients when compared to healthy people. In a healthy brain, protein fragments such as amyloid beta peptide 1-42 are broken down and eliminated. However, in Alzheimer’s, the fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaques. Attempts have been made to help inhibit plaque formation by reducing the amount of amyloid beta peptide 1-42 through vaccines that generate an immune response to the protein. The challenge has been that though effective in reducing the amount of the protein, the inflammatory response has been such that the intended benefits are not seen. These vaccines have used an adjuvant, or helper, to generate the necessary immune response and it is believed that this adjuvant triggers the unwanted surplus inflammation. We have licensed rights to a vaccine using autologous cells that does not require an adjuvant and therefore, we believe will trigger the immune response, which should help eliminate the amyloid beta peptide 1-42 without generating the excess inflammation and therefore, have a positive clinical effect. We believe that the vaccine, in addition to dealing with plaque formation, also ameliorates the impaired immune system that is thought to be the major issue in Alzheimer’s patients.
Our data have demonstrated that these mutant-peptide sensitized dendritic cells (“DC”) can act as a vaccine to generate a durable antibody response, as well as enhance the number of CD8+ T-cells and increase the lifespan of CD8+ cells (T and DCs cells), compared to control subjects. These studies will provide a further rationale and impetus for using this novel vaccine to determine potential efficacy in human clinical trials against Alzheimer’s.