AFFiRiS Begins Development of a Parkinson's Vaccine

January 15, 2009

AFFiRiS (Vienna, Austria) has initiated pre-clinical development of a Parkinson's vaccine. The vaccine, known as PD01, can be used to target a specific protein that is closely associated with the causes of this degenerative neurological disease.

AFFiRiS (Vienna, Austria) has initiated pre-clinical development of a Parkinson’s vaccine. The vaccine, known as PD01, can be used to target a specific protein that is closely associated with the causes of this degenerative neurological disease. Excellent product candidates from discovery studies have prompted the company to file a patent application and proceed immediately with development. Similarly positive results from external assessments impelled the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) to provide funding for the project. The vaccine is based on the company’s AFFITOME technology, which has already been used to develop two Alzheimer's vaccines that are both currently in Phase 1 clinical testing.

PD01 will be investigated for efficacy (“proof of concept”) in Parkinson models. The Parkinson’s vaccine specifically targets the alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) protein, which is considered to be a key contributory element in Parkinson's disease.

Although all details of the disease are not yet fully understood, there is clear scientific evidence that the concentration and enrichment of alpha-syn in the brain are contributing factors in the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, reducing the alpha-syn burden in the brain should have a positive impact on the course of the disease—a hypothesis that was recently confirmed by the results of US researchers working on animal models.

The AFFITOME technology from AFFiRiS provides a means of targeting very specific structures of human rogue proteins with patented product candidates. AFFiRiS has already succeeded in developing two vaccines and a hemodialysis program for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. These therapies only target specific structures found on harmful fragments of beta-amyloid, which is said to be responsible for Alzheimer’s. Both Alzheimer's vaccines are currently being trialed on Alzheimer patients.