Lecture 24 - Neurodegeneration Therapeutics Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 24 - Neurodegeneration Therapeutics Deck (16):

What are some possible targets?

• gamma secretase
• Cu
• Aβ aggregation
• Oligomerisation
• Degradation


Describe how secretases are targeted

Give an example

Drug developed that blocks the active sites

Merck trial


Why did gamma secretase inhibitors not work?

Side effects due to non-selectivity:
• gamma secretrase also cleaves other proteins in the body such as NOTCH protein
• NOTCH is important in development
• Interference with NOTCH → malignancy


Discuss β secretase inhibitors
• Human trials

• Active site has two Aspartates
• Active site is large → difficult to make a compound that fits in here

Merck Drug:
• Currently in phase 2/3 trials
• Seems to have good safety profiles


Discuss gamma secretase inhibitors
Discuss results in:
• Animals
• Humans

• Gamma secretase inhibitor

In animals
• Lowered levels of Aβ in plasma, CSF and brain

In humans:
• Lowered levels of Aβ in plasma in humans
• Phase III trials shown not to slow AD progression
• Caused worsening of clinical measures of cognition etc.


Discuss active vaccination as treatment for AD
Discuss results in:
• Mice
• Humans

Shenck came up with a vaccine against Aβ

Transgenic mouse model
• Overexpression of APP
• Aβ as antigen in vaccine
• Immunised mice had no Aβ deposition
• Control mice had Aβ deposition

• Reduction in Aβ plaque aggregation

How would this work:
• Ab need to cross the BBB
• This is possible (went against the accepted dogma)

Vaccination trials:
• Aβ as the antigen in the vaccine
• Mild to moderate AD patients immunised
• No significant difference between vaccine group and control groups
• Trial stopped due to encephalitis is some subjects
• In the people who were immunised, the Aβ load was lower than the control group post mortem
• This reduction in Aβ load did not seem to have affected the disease progression


Discuss passive immunisation for AD
Discuss results in:
• Mice
• Humans

1. Bapineuzumab
• Humanised mAbs against soluble and fibrillar Aβ injected into patients

Results in mice:
• Reduced Aβ load in transgenic mice

In humans:
• Phase I and II: less promising results than in mice
• Phase III trials: failed, no difference between control and vaccine groups

2. Solanezumab:
• Humanised mAb against soluble Aβ

Results in mice:
• Reversed memory deficits
• Didn't affect brain Aβ load, but soluble Aβ is not significant in the brain

Results in humans:
• Phase II: increase plasma and CSF levels of Aβ → due to decreased brain load
• No effect on behavioural outcomes
• Phase III: cognition endpoints were not met


Describe Tau immunisation
Discuss results in:
• Mice

NB Tau is intracellular → Ab needs to get into the cell. This has been possible

Immunogen: Human Tau peptide sequence

Mice model study:
• Tau transgenic mice (have tau pathology)
• Three groups:
I = before onset
II = moderate
III = advanced tau pathology
• Measurement of NFTs:
→ Reduction in all three groups


Discuss oligomerisation inhibitors
Results in:
• in vitro
• Mice
• Humans

Sulfated glucosaminoglycan mimetic

Results in vitro:
• Keeps Aβ from aggregating
• Reduced Aβ-induced cell death

In transgenic mice:
• Reduced Aβ plaque load in brain

Clinical trials:
• Failure to reduce load and improve cognitive performance


Discuss Cu as a target


Clioquinol based compound, with similar properties
• Chelates Zn and Cu ions
• Crosses the BBB

In transgenic mice:
• Reduced Aβ aggregation

In human trials:
• Efficacious in small phase II trial
• Good safety profile
• Affected Aβ and tau
→ Global financial crisis made it impossible to do a big phase III trial
• Another small phase II trial was done instead
• Failed, but they think that the trial was too small (only 27 people received the drug)
• This doesn't mean that the drug doesn't work, it just means the trial wasn't done properly


How is copper involved in AD?

• Induces di-tyrosine cross linking Aβ, which is toxic

• Production of reactive oxygen species that lead to neuronal dysfunction and death


What are some other proposed treatments for AD?

Alpha secretase activator
Tau aggregation inhibitors


When should AD be treated?

Discuss the phases of the disease progression

1. Pre-symptomatic phase:
• no clinical symptoms
• 50 years of age
• Aβ is aggregating and causing cell death

2. Prodomal

3. Dementia:
• Cognition declines

Since Aβ deposition is accumulating very early on, we need to treat people very early on, i.e. when they are still cognitively normal

Up until now, therapies have only been treating people who are symptomatic. This is probably too late, and the damage from Aβ has already occurred, and downstream effects have been triggered

At this point, the down stream effects need to be targeted in treatment
• Inflammation
• Oxidative stress


Discuss diagnostic tests for Aβ deposition in the pre-symptomatic phase, now and in the future

1. PET scanning
• Radioactively marked ThT (which binds to Aβ) administered
• Isotope picked up by PET scanning
• Aβ deposition can be detected at pre-AD stage

2. Blood test
• Still looking for a blood based predictor of Aβ burden
• Still being studied


Compare the following:
• Bapineuzumab
• Semagacestat
• Solanezumab
• Tramiprosate

• mAb against fibrillar Aβ

• Gamma secretase inhibitor

• mAb against soluble Aβ

• Oligomerisation inhibitor


What are MPACs?

Metal protein attenuating compounds

(chelate metal ions)