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Affiris Alzheimer's Vaccine Progresses to Phase II Clinical Testing


A prospective Alzheimer’s vaccine, called AD02 manufactured by AFFiRiS AG in Austria, has passed Phase I clinical trials and has progressed to phase II, which will occur in six European countries. It may be possible to confirm the efficacy of the vaccine as early as 2012.

AD02 has passed safety and tolerability testing during Phase I trials, according to the company press release. The Phase II study will occur in centers in Austria, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Croatia and will include 420 recruited patients.

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AFFiRiS AG also has a prospective vaccine for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease that will start phase I clinical trials at the beginning of 2011 and has others in their product pipeline to treat atherosclerosis and hypertension, among other disease states. In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals became the license partner for the Alzheimer’s vaccine.

The AD02 vaccine works by causing the body to attack the build-up of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, which cause the degradation of nerve cells and are believed to play a crucial role in causing Alzheimer’s disease. The peptides in the vaccine only attack the damaging plaques while leaving healthy cells untouched.

The current vaccine is therapeutic, meaning that it will be indicated for treating patients already affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Spokesman Till Jelitto said that if the results are positive, it is possible that the technology could also be used to manufacture a prophylactic, or preventative, vaccine.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease with no current cure. As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with the disease that destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia and the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.