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July 24, 2012, Raleigh, NC-PRA, a Clinical Research Organization, announces that it is participating in a groundbreaking Alzheimer’s disease study that could lead to treatments delaying or even preventing the emergence of symptoms in people destined to develop the disease because of their genetic background. The clinical trial is a collaborative effort involving the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI); Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY); the University of Antioquia in Colombia; and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The trial will include about 300 participants in Colombia, home to a kindred of nearly 5,000 people who share a rare genetic mutation that triggers Alzheimer’s symptoms at an early age. A smaller number of individuals in the United States will also participate. The Phase IIa trial will utilize Genentech’s investigational drug crenezumab. This humanized monoclonal antibody targets amyloid beta, a protein thought by many scientists to play a key role in the development of the disease.
“This study has the potential to change patients’ lives by shifting the research paradigm in Alzheimer’s from treatment to early prevention,” said Kent Thoelke, PRA’s Executive Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs. “PRA and its specialty neurosciences group are proud to be involved with this landmark program and to be working with leaders in the field of Alzheimer’s research like Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Genentech.”
The prevention trial was recently announced by BAI, Genentech and NIH at the unveiling of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. The federal plan aims to develop effective treatment and prevention strategies by the year 2025 by increasing research funding, training health professionals and improving public-private partnerships.