United Neuroscience’s small Phase II trial appears to have cleared a decades-old hurdle
For two decades, biotech companies trying to tackle Alzheimer’s disease have had little success. While vaccines have often shown promise for certain patients, they’ve come with devastating side effects for others—brain swelling, for example— because researchers haven’t been able to reliably keep patients’ immune systems from kicking into overdrive when exposed to the vaccines. Now, a four-year-old Dublin startup believes it may be on to something.
To be clear, United Neuroscience Inc. hasn’t solved Alzheimer’s yet, nor has it claimed to. But previously unreported results from a small, recent United clinical trial show that 96 percent of patients responded, without serious side effects, to the Alzheimer’s vaccine the company calls UB-311. The patients seemed to demonstrate improved brain function and showed a reduction in the protein plaque gumming up their neurons, the company’s report says. “We are doing better than the placebo on all these things,” says Chief Executive Officer Mei Mei Hu. “We can’t make any claims yet, but we’re pointing in all the right directions.”
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