Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD
The field of Alzheimer’s disease drug development received more troubling news yesterday, when the leaders of the GENERATION program halted their prevention clinical trials of a drug aiming to prevent the formation of the beta amyloid protein in people at risk to get Alzheimer’s disease.
The GENERATION program is led by investigators at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and is an important study in people at increased genetic risk to someday develop Alzheimer’s disease, based on the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. The trials were stopped because preliminary results indicated that the drug under study, CNP520 (being developed by Novartis and Amgen), worsened cognition. CNP520 is a BACE (beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleavage enzyme) Inhibitor. BACE Inhibitors can reduce amyloid levels substantially, but CNP520 now joins several other candidate BACE Inhibitors found to worsen cognitive performance.