On 16 Nov 2021, Bringham and Women’s Hospital announced the commencement of the first-ever human trials of a nasal vaccine for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The vaccine is said to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s in humans.
According to Dr. Howard L. Weiner, MD, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at the Brigham, “Over the last two decades, we’ve amassed preclinical evidence suggesting the potential of this nasal vaccine for AD. If clinical trials in humans show that the vaccine is safe and effective, this could represent a nontoxic treatment for people with Alzheimer’s, and it could also be given early to help prevent Alzheimer’s in people at risk.”
The Trial Phase
The nasal trial phase will comprise 16 people between the age group of 60-85 who have been detected with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s. The participants will receive two doses of the nasal vaccine within one week of gap and will be further monitored for a few months.
During the press release, the hospital stated that the primary objective of the phase 1 trial will be to determine the safety and tolerability of the nasal vaccine. The research team will measure the effects of nasal Protollin on the participants’ immune response, including its effect on the white blood cells, by examining cell surface markers, gene profiles, and functional assays.
The nasal vaccine consists of a substance called Protollin that activates the immune system. Protollin is made up of proteins derived from bacteria and has been used in other vaccines because it helps stimulate certain parts of the immune system. According to reasearchers, the substance could help the body fight against some of the proteins and inflammation that is believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s.
According to the estimates of The Centers for Disease Control, as many as 5.8 million Americans were detected with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2020. Currently, there is no cure for the disease. Dr. Weiner further stated, “We are truly hopeful. We’ve been working on this for a couple of decades and the data we have in animals and initial data testing Alzheimer’s patients suggest that there is hope and that this might work.”