USask researchers to start clinical trials for new Alzheimer’s drug

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon are testing a new clinical trial to fight Alzheimer’s.

“There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease,” said University of Saskatchewan professor Dr. Ron Geyer. “The current therapies repress the symptoms.”

NeuroEPO, a drug studied in early Alzheimer’s patients, is being advanced after very successful Phase 1 trials.

In the initial phase, the drug has been shown to slow the progression of the disease and has even proved to reverse cognitive decline in some cases.

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“After one year of treatment, the majority of people on the drug stabilized their cognitive function, and that’s 80 per cent,” Geyer said.

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“Fifty per cent actually improved their cognitive function.”

The drug was created to make more red blood cells in the body, which prevents cell death, and aids in growing the neurons in the brain.

The USask team is working with organizations around the city to recruit participants and will then set a date for the trial to begin.

Participants will have the drug administered three times a week through the nose.

“It’s like a smaller version of a COVID swab without the tickly part on the end,” Geyer said. “It diffuses at the back where you have sensory neurons for smelling.”

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The direct nose-to-brain delivery works much quicker than other methods and prevents negative side effects in other organs, as the drug transmission takes mere minutes.

“That will enable them to develop better treatment plans and hopefully minimize hospitalization.”

The program hopes to begin clinical trials this summer.

Click to play video: 'Alzheimer Society of Sask. supporting people with dementia'

Alzheimer Society of Sask. supporting people with dementia

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