A new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that is being described as a “ninja” drug could be on the market by 2025. Known as the PMN310 antibody, it destroys harmful cells in the brain that lead to dementia, while having no obvious detrimental side effects.
Researchers at ProMIS Neurosciences, which is developing the drug, found that it halts the process that leads to dementia and helps to prevent short-term memory loss. PMN310 needs to go through more rounds of medical trials, but could represent a significant breakthrough if it is successfully brought to market.
Since Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent type of dementia, the race to find a cure or create drugs that can lessen its effects is vital. Some 850,000 people in the UK suffer from Alzheimer’s, leaving many elderly people without their independence.
ProMIS relies on the fact that the brain is able to regenerate vital cells. By neutralising the harmful cells and having them removed, the organ is then stimulated to produce new ones that are not affected by those that have been compromised.
Gene Williams, a researcher at ProMIS, told The Sun: “This antibody is like a ninja. It comes in and targets only the toxic parts. If you tip the balance back and stop the process [that kills brain cells], you give the brain’s systems a chance to kick in and work.”
Other experts in the community, have come out and called the development promising. Among them is the Alzheimer’s Society, which said that removing proteins from the brain before they have the opportunity to become plaques, could be significant.
News of the possibility of the innovative drug comes in the wake of another breakthrough in the field by scientists in Italy. Researchers at the University of Brescia have created a test that can diagnose the different forms of dementia, thus allowing varying treatments to be used.
Studies have shown that the test is 90 per cent accurate. It requires a coil to be placed into the individual’s head, but differentiating between Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemperal dementia could be worth the invasive procedure.