Grants advanced studies targeting immunity and inflammatory processes in people with dementia.

Part the Cloud Challenge on Neuroinflammation — FULLY FUNDED

Anthony Oliva, Ph.D.

An innovative clinical trial competition seeks to speed Alzheimer's disease drug discovery. A response of the body's immune system, neuroinflammation is a key process associated with Alzheimer's disease pathways, but its role is complex: Too little inflammation may allow amyloid plaques to form unchecked, while too much may kill vital neurons.

To help find ways of fine-tuning inflammation to delay, prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease, philanthropist Mikey Hoag partnered with the Alzheimer's Association® to advance studies targeting neuroinflammation for possible therapy development. With funding from the Part the Cloud Challenge on Neuroinflammation, the Association made awards of $1 million each to four studies:

  • Isidro Ferrer, M.D., Ph.D., Institute of Health Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Ferrer conducted a Phase II clinical trial to determine if the drug Sativex, a cannabis-based liquid medication that was previously tested as a cancer therapy, helps slow the progression to Alzheimer's in people with mild cognitive impairment.
  • John Olichney, M.D., University of California, Davis. Dr. Olichney's study tested if the drug Senicapoc — shown to be safe in clinical trials of sickle cell anemia and asthma treatment — can reduce brain inflammation, alter the rate of brain amyloid accumulation, and improve memory in people with early-stage Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment.
  • Anthony Oliva, Ph.D., Longeveron LLC, and Bernard Baumel, M.D., University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Drs. Oliva and Baumel led a Phase I clinical trial to examine the safety and efficacy of a novel therapy using stem cells derived from healthy adult donors and delivered into the bloodstream of people with early-stage Alzheimer's.
  • Huntington Potter, Ph.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Potter led a Phase II clinical trial of the FDA-approved drug Leukine, which reduces and prevents infection in people who have received chemotherapy, among people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's.

In 2019 this unique, goal-driven competition awarded an additional $3 million to the Longeveron team, bringing total funding for the initiative to $7 million, all raised through the Part the Cloud movement.

Longeveron is currently recruiting for a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial involves a total of about 30 participants at four trial sites in Florida. The company's MSC product is derived from the bone marrow of young, healthy adult donors.

Researchers are looking to assess efficacy of the stem cell treatments by examining changes in Alzheimer's disease status in several areas. These include neurological and neurocognitive assessments; quality of life assessments; evaluation of blood inflammatory biomarkers; and evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inflammatory biomarkers and those for tau and beta-amyloid, the biomarkers of Alzheimer's.

"We are hopeful that our research in regenerative medicine will show that controlling inflammation and other disease facets holds a critical key to a breakthrough in ameliorating the devastating effects of Alzheimer's," says Anthony Oliva, Ph.D,, the trial's principal investigator.

This Project Advances:


Discovery Science


Early Detection





Learn more about the key outcome areas >

Step Up the Pace is a special initiative to increase philanthropic investment in four key dementia research outcomes areas: Discovery Science, Early Detection, Treatment and Prevention.


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