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VANCOUVER — While clinical trial results are being released regarding drugs intended to decrease amyloid production - thought to contribute to decline in Alzheimer's disease - clinical trials of drugs targeting other disease proteins, such as tau, are in their initial phases.
Penn Medicine research presented today at the 2012 Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) shows that an anti-tau treatment called epithilone D (EpoD) was effective in preventing and intervening the progress of Alzheimer's disease in animal models, improving neuron function and cognition, as well as decreasing tau pathology.
By targeting tau, the drug aims to stabilize microtubules, which help support and transport of essential nutrients and information between cells. When tau malfunctions, microtubules break and tau accumulates into tangles.
"This drug effectively hits a tau target by correcting tau loss of function, thereby stabilizing microtubules and offsetting the loss of tau due to its formation into neurofibrillary tangles in animal models, which suggests that this could be an important option to mediate tau function in Alzheimer's and other tau-based neurodegenerative diseases," said John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Penn Memory Center will be enrolling subjects into the BMS-Tau study shortly. Please contact Michelle Hampton at 215-615-3133 with any questions.