The Israeli company NasVax announced on Wednesday that testing has shown that administering the BBS antibody to animals reduces levels of the tau and amyloid beta proteins, strengthening cognitive abilities and reducing brain inflammation. Cognitive impairment and brain inflammation are typical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
NasVax holds the exclusive development license for the BBS antibody, which was discovered by Professor Beka Solomon, head of the neuro-immunology laboratory at Tel Aviv University.
Alzheimer's is considered to be one of the most serious old-age diseases, as it leads to complete loss of memory and ability to function independently.
It is estimated that around four to five million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer's, costing more than $100 billion in medical expenses annually, and that the number will rise to more than 14 million people by 2050 if no effective treatment is found.
Around 30 million people currently have Alzheimer's worldwide, a number expected to rise to 35 million by 2015.
"The publication of new research and clinical data, as well as actual clinical proof, are particularly encouraging to [NasVax]," said Professor Itamar Shalit, a NasVax director. "The company's antibody has shown a mechanism of action that is similar to a natural human mutation, indicating a resistance to Alzheimer's disease. We are now engaged in developing an innovative protein for humans for use in clinical trials."