Baylor College of Medicine News

BCM tackles Alzheimer's on all fronts: Experimental Research

Along with work in the lab and understanding how the body is affected by a disease, experimental therapies are designed to answer specific questions about new medications, therapies, or new ways of using known treatments.

Current research by the Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Baylor College of Medicine includes:

ST101

The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness and safety of a new drug known as ST101. Participants, moderate to moderately severe Alzheimer's disease patients who are already taking donepezil, will either be given the new drug or a placebo. The two results will then be compared. In Alzheimer's disease there are multiple neurotransmitter deficits in the brain and ST101 works by increasing the levels of two important neurotransmitters, acetylcholine and dopamine. This new drug works differently than medication currently available to enhance levels of neurotransmitter. Funding for the study is by Sonexa Therapeutics, Inc.

Latrepirdine (Dimebon)

BCM is one of about 100 sites participating in this international trial. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness and safety of latrepirdine (Dimebon) compared to placebo in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease patients who are already taking donepezil. Dimebon may help brain cells survive and grow by protecting the mitochondria; dysfunction of the mitochondria is thought to play an important role in neurotransmitters in the brain that influence cognition and memory that are impaired in people with AD. Funding for this study came from Medivation, Inc., the company developing the drug worldwide. Doody is also a member of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board for Medivation, Inc.

Rage Inhibitor

This is a multicenter study evaluating the effectiveness and safety of 18 months of treatment with a new drug known as PF-04494700 (TTP488) in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease patients. PF-04494700 blocks the receptor for advanced glycation end products or RAGE. RAGE may play a role in the build-up of beta amyloid which is found in plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. This new drug that is not available outside this study. Baylor College of Medicine is one of about 40 sites participating in this trial. This study is being sponsored by Pfizer and the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (NIH).

AAB-001

The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy, safety, tolerability and effectiveness of a new drug known as AAB-001 (bapineuzumab) to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. AAB-001 is an amyloid antibody that is not available outside this study. An antibody is a type of protein usually produced by white blood cells to destroy other usually harmful substances in the body. Élan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is sponsoring the study.