Barcelona lab finds treatment that slows down Alzheimer's

  1. Findings open new avenues for the research of neurodegenerative disorders
  2. 75-year-old company began its research on Alzheimer's in 2004
  3. Procedure is safe and feasible

A renowned Spanish laboratory presented the results of clinical tests that show a dramatic reduction in the progression of moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients, in a new step towards an innovative approach to fight this neurodegenerative disease.

At the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) congress last 27 October in Barcelona, Laboratorios Grifols’ CEO Víctor Grifols said the results “open a new path in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease” and remarked that his company “will continue to explore the potential of plasma proteins and plasma exchange in subsequent studies.” The results have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The project, called AMBAR (Alzheimer’s Management by Albumin Replacement), studied 496 patients from 41 hospitals in the United States and Spain, and consisted in the combination of periodic plasma extraction and its replacement by an albumin solution, which is also a plasma protein.

Treatment proposed by AMBAR is based on the hypothesis that the majority of beta-amyloid, one of the proteins that accumulates in the brain of AD patients, circulates in plasma bound to albumin. The extraction of this plasma could displace the beta-amyloid of the brain into the plasma, limiting the impact of the disease on the cognitive functions of the patient.

Results in the pre-specified cohort of moderate AD patients demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of 61 percent in disease progression from baseline across both primary efficacy endpoints as measured by the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive (ADAS-Cog) and the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study – Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) scales.

AMBAR was designed to evaluate whether the progression of AD could be stabilized through plasma exchange, a process that entails periodically extracting plasma and replacing it with a specific albumin solution.

Grifols – a global healthcare group from Barcelona founded in 1940 – began its research on Alzheimer’s disease in 2004 with several pre-clinical trials, two pilot studies and a Phase II clinical trial before launching the AMBAR trial.

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