Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) and Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, are collaborating on a study on individuals with a genetic risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This five-year study, set to begin in North America and Europe in 2015, will assess the ability of two anti-amyloid treatments—an active and an oral medication—to prevent, slow or delay memory loss.
The study will involve more than 1,300 cognitively healthy adults who have a genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This means that they inherited genetic copies of the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele—one from each parent. Study participants will receive either the active immunotherapy, the oral medication or a placebo.
Pending regulatory authority approval, a new website will be launched next year to explain the study, register potential participants and provide consent forms and disclosure statements. To be considered, volunteers who meet the study’s criteria will be asked to send a sample of genetic material (for instance, a cheek swab) to a laboratory and they will be notified if they can enroll in the trial.
“We are taking clinical trials to a critical new stage. This approach shifts the research paradigm from trying to reverse disease damage to attacking and preventing its cause, years before symptoms could surface,” said Pierre N. Tariot, MD, study director for BAI, in a release.