Since 2012, Mikey Hoag and the Part the Cloud committee and gala, have generated over $6 million in funding for Alzheimer’s research – a remarkable effort that will have a true impact on moving critical studies forward to achieve potential therapies. These awards are designed to accelerate transition of findings from the laboratory, through trials, into possible therapies – filling the gap in Alzheimer’s drug development by providing essential support for early phase clinical studies. Due to this increase in funding, the Alzheimer’s Association has awarded ten research awards since January 2013. These awards span a variety of targets in Alzheimer’s disease research and fall under the leadership of some of the nation's most prestigious scientists and universities:
2015 Grant Recipients
Stephen Cunnane, Ph.D., University of Sherbrooke - Québec, Canada
Title: Proof of Mechanism of a New Ketogenic Supplement Using Dual Tracer PET
This Phase 1b/2a clinical trial will examine the safety and effectiveness of a novel dietary supplement as an alternative fuel source for the brain to stabilize or reverse declining memory observed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists will use advanced brain imaging to determine if the proposed therapy improves brain blood flow, energy use and helps preserve memory function.
Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - New York, New York
Title: BDPP Treatment for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Prediabetes
This Phase 1b clinical trial will examine the safety and tolerability of a combination treatment using three grape-derived compounds in people with very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This novel treatment contains a mixture of polyphenols, which are plant compounds thought to support brain health.
Russell Swerdlow, M.D., University of Kansas Medical Center - Fairway, Kansas
Title: Trial of Oxaloacetate in Alzheimer’s Disease (TOAD) Study
This Phase 1b clinical trial will examine the safety and effectiveness of oxaloacetate as an alternative energy source to improve brain function in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Providing the brain an alternative fuel source may help slow or prevent brain changes associated with the disease process.
Tim West, Ph.D., C2N Diagnostics - St. Louis, Missouri
Title: A Single Ascending-Dose, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study of an Anti-Tau Antibody
This Phase 1 clinical trial will examine the safety and effectiveness of an antibody against tau to treat various dementias, including Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Alzheimer’s disease. The results will inform future clinical trials designed to determine if the antibody removes tau from the human brain and results in improved cognitive function.
Whitney Wharton, Ph.D., Emory University - Atlanta, Georgia
Title: Mechanistic Potential of Antihypertensives in Preclinical Alzheimer’s
This Phase 1b clinical trial will determine if the FDA-approved antihypertensive drug, perindopril, may work by mechanisms other than lowering blood pressure to ultimately reduce Alzheimer’s risk in African-Americans with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.
2013 Grant Recipients
Adam L. Boxer, M.D, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Title: Phase I Multiple Ascending Dose Trial of the MT Stabilizer TPI-287 for AD
Dr. Boxer and his team are working to moderate the stability of microtubules — small, tube-like structures that act like a skeleton inside cells, maintain cell structure and help to transport nutrients throughout the cell —potentially decreasing the abnormal buildup of tau protein into tangles, one of the hallmark brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease.
Update: UCSF team – led by Adam Boxer - launched the safety clinical study with TPI-287. Further, Dr. Boxer received a significant award to establish a clinical research team to study loss of brain cell function in dementias.
Frank Longo, M.D., Stanford University and Anne Longo, Pharmatrophix, Inc.
Title: Phase I Trial for P75 Receptor Ligand
This study aims to test a therapy that targets the cell death pathway associated with Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting a known component. The researchers hope to ultimately determine whether this decreases the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s in the brain.
Update: Dr. Frank Longo and his group at Pharmatrophix are gearing up to launch their next clinical study thanks to the success of their initial safety study, partially funded by PTC.
Ahmad Salehi, M.D., Ph.D., Palo Alto Institute for Research & Education, Inc.
Title: Improving ß2 Adrenergic Signaling in Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers at the Palo Alto Institute for Research & Education, Inc., are exploring potential therapeutics to improve the health of brain connections thought to play an early role in the disease processes.
Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Title: An Exploratory Safety, PK/PD, and Preliminary Efficacy Study of F03 in MCI
This study strives to impact the activity level of Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), the complex responsible for the production of the beta amyloid — thereby potentially influencing the amount of beta amyloid produced in the brain.
Update: Part the Cloud awardee Dr. Dale Bredesen published a report on 10 individuals who saw reversal of cognition issues following a personalized lifestyle-intervention.
Keith Vossel, M.D., University of California, San Francisco and Gladstone Institute for Neurological Disease
Title: Phase 2a Levetiracetam Trial for AD-Associated Network Hyperexcitability
Led by Dr. Keith Vossel, these scientists are working to moderate the amount of underlying electrical activity of the brain cells associated with Alzheimer’s disease to potentially impact the rate an individuals’ cognition declines.
The Part the Cloud initiative also supported, in part, Mike Weiner, MD (principal investigator of ADNI) and the Whole Genome Sequencing Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (WGS-ADNI), a project to sequence the whole genome of more than 800 individuals. The genome data will be available to researchers around the world this summer, enabling further study of the genes related to Alzheimer’s.