BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cerveau Technologies, Inc. today announced a research collaboration involving use of its investigational imaging agent (MK-6240) by the international team led by the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network Trial Unit (DIAN-TU) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in a worldwide clinical trial aimed at finding treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The DIAN-TU trial involves people with an inherited cause of Alzheimer’s which develops at a young age, usually in their 30s, 40s or 50s. The DIAN-TU is a public/private philanthropic research partnership that launched the trial in 2012. The DIAN-TU trial platform launched the first trial aimed at identifying drugs to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s in people who are nearly certain to develop the disease due to inherited genetic mutations. Specifically, people in the trial are at risk of having mutations in genes that are linked to early-onset Alzheimer’s. The hope is that by intervening early – before Alzheimer’s ravages the brain – it may be possible to thwart the disease.
The DIAN-TU trial is ongoing at 24 sites across seven countries. Because of the rarity of individuals that have a dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease genetic mutation, the program will be expanded to additional countries, potentially including Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands and Poland.
The trial will include Cerveau’s MK-6240, an investigational imaging biomarker targeting disease progression. MK-6240 is designed to detect brain protein tau levels by positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Tau accumulates in the brain where it forms toxic tangles in individuals with Alzheimer’s, and has been shown to be tightly linked with the symptoms of loss of memory and thinking. By tracking the tau tangles in the trial, the DIAN-TU may help validate this marker as a short-cut to drug development as outlined in recent publications:
We are excited to use the imaging biomarker in the DIAN-TU trial to track Alzheimer’s disease pathology,” said Washington University Alzheimer’s specialist Randall J. Bateman, MD, Director of the DIAN-TU. “This tracer is designed to specifically track levels of the protein tau. This data will help us determine if drugs being studied in the trial can impact Alzheimer’s pathology,” added Bateman, who is also the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University.
“Cerveau welcomes this opportunity to work with the world-class DIAN-TU researchers to understand the application of MK-6240 and how it may benefit patients with this devastating disease. The DIAN-TU trials will provide a rigorous and powerful test of our imaging biomarker while evaluating potential preventive treatment options for autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease,” said Rick Hiatt, President and CEO of Cerveau Technologies, Inc.
Although the trial focuses on people with rare mutations, treatments that are successful in this population potentially could be used to slow or stop the forms of Alzheimer’s that occur more commonly in older adults. It is thought that the destructive molecular and cellular processes in the brain are much the same for both types of the disease.
About Cerveau Technologies, Inc.
Cerveau Technologies, Inc. is a partnership between Enigma Biomedical Group, Inc. and Sinotau Pharmaceutical Group. Cerveau's vision is to globally develop diagnostics and technology that positively impact patients with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease.