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Alzheimer's disease is a slow, progressive disease that profoundly affects memory and everyday function. There are treatments available that can help manage symptoms, but at present there is no cure, and no treatment that is effective at slowing the progression of Alzeimer's. Alzeimer's disease can begin to cause brain damage decades before symptoms such as memory loss become apparent.

The MICAD trial will look at the effect of JNJ-40346527, a new drug which blocks CSF-1R (colony stimulating factor-1 receptor), which is a protein on the outside of cells present in the brain. CSF-1R is responsible for the control of various cells including microglial cells. These are a certain type of cell (approximately 10-15% of cells in the brain and spinal cord) which act as the first and main form of immune defence in the central nervous system (CNS). Recent research suggests that reducing numbers of these microglial cells may help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. We want to see how well JNJ-40346527 is able to block CSF-1R, in order to suppress these microglial cells. 

This study is designed to investigate whether or not it is possible to identify changes in levels of proteins which interact with CSF-1R, as well and changes in the activity or number of these microglial cells present in the brain. This may provide us with useful “biomarkers” these are measurable indicators which look at changes in the body, which we could track to see how the drug is working in the body. These “biomarkers” could then be used in further larger studies to more thoroughly test the benefits of the drug JNJ-40346527.

 

Study design Phase 1b, randomised, placebo-controlled, single-blind study
Sponsor University of Oxford
Ethical approval 19/LO/0904
Chief Investigator Dr Vanessa Raymont, Senior Clinical Researcher, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
Contact micad@phc.ox.ac.uk