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Drexel University College of Medicine to Participate in International Alzheimer’s Study

October 8, 2008

Drexel University College of Medicine has announced that it is participating in Phase 3 clinical trials for a possible Alzheimer's vaccine. Carol Lippa, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Memory Disorders Center at Drexel University College of Medicine, is among a group of Alzheimer's specialists who will evaluate and monitor the progress of patients being administered the drug bapineuzumab, a therapeutic antibody that works by binding to and clearing beta-amyloid, an abnormal protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease.

"Buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain has been an indication of Alzheimer's disease for a long time, but only recently have treatments been developed to try to eliminate the abnormal protein," said Lippa. "Our ultimate hope is that we can not only slow the progression of the disease, but actually stop and reverse Alzheimer's."

The Phase 3 study will enroll a large number of patients (approximately 4100) at more than 350 sites worldwide. Volunteers will be administered intravenous infusions of bapineuzumab every other month for 18 months. Participants must be diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and must be between 50 and 88 years of age

An estimated five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease, a number that is expected to double over the next several years due to an aging baby boomer population.

"Despite those numbers, the good news is that this is a very exciting time in Alzheimer's research," said Lippa. "I feel confident that we are closer to a cure than ever before."

For more information about enrolling in the study at Drexel University College of Medicine, call 215-762-7783.