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Dual studies aim to determine if the repurposed drug safely and effectively reduces inflammatory and disease-associated biomarkers, and improves cognition in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
The National Institute of Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) awarded five-year grants of $3.2 million and $1.4 million, respectively, to scientists from Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to study the therapeutic potential of the anti-cancer drug lenalidomide in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
The funding will support the project “Repurposing Lenalidomide for Early Alzheimer’s Treatment” led by Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., and Boris Decourt, Ph.D., of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The project is comprised of two complementary clinical studies aimed at identifying whether lenalidomide reduces inflammation and other disease-related neuropathological features and improves cognition in those living with mild cognitive impairment.
Lenalidomide is one of few multi-purpose agents, which has demonstrated several effects on the immune system in cancer patients.
“To date, disease-modifying therapies have only used a single drug approach to target Alzheimer’s disease pathologies, and they have all failed. These grants will help us explore a novel approach in reducing several pathologies simultaneously,” said Dr. Sabbagh, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “With its dual mechanistic nature, lenalidomide is particularly intriguing because it has the potential to both reduce chronic inflammation and lower amyloid beta loads in the brain, which are both indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.”
The two lenalidomide sister studies will recruit participants with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease/MCI at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The first study is funded by the NIH and is a 20-month Phase II investigation evaluating the effect of long-term use of lenalidomide on cognition, along with safety and tolerability.
The second study, supported by ADDF funding, is a six-month Phase II investigation examining the short-term use of lenalidomide in 45 participants, with a focus on safety and effects on blood and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers. Dr. Sabbagh’s work is also supported by the Camille and Larry Ruvo Endowed Chair for Brain Health.
For additional information about Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, visit ClevelandClinic.org/Nevada.
Photo: Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain HealthBack to All