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N. Ketter, E. Liu, J. Di, L.S. Honig, M. Lu, G. Novak, J. Werth, G. LePrince Leterme, A. Shadman, H.R. Brashear

J Prev Alz Dis 2016;3(4):192-201

Background: Vanutide Cridificar (ACC-001), a novel investigational immunotherapeutic vaccine designed to elicit antibodies against the N-terminal peptide 1-7 of the amyloid-beta peptide, believed to be important in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Objectives: To evaluate the immunogenicity, safety and impact of ACC-001 with Quillaja saponaria (QS-21) adjuvant on the reduction of brain fibrillar amyloid burden, assayed by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, in patients with mild to moderate AD. Design: Randomized, phase 2, interventional study. Trial registration: Identifier: NCT01284387. Participants: Individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (Mini-Mental State Examination scores 18-26; measurable amyloid burden in the expected range, on the screening 18F-florbetapir PET scan; and a Rosen modified Hachinski ischemic score ≤4). Intervention: Participants were randomized to 3 μg or 10 μg ACC-001 (each in combination with 50 μg QS-21) or placebo (without QS-21). Measurements: Primary endpoint was the change from baseline to week 104 in cerebral amyloid burden as measured by the global cortical average (GCA) standard value uptake ratio (SUVR) based on the brain 18F-florbetapir PET composite cortical SUVR between each ACC-001+QS-21 dose compared with placebo. Secondary endpoints included safety, immunogenicity and pharmacodynamics. Exploratory endpoints included cognitive and functional efficacy, and health outcome measures. Results: Of 126 randomized patients (placebo: 40; ACC-001 3 µg+QS-21: 43; and ACC-001 10 µg+QS-21: 43), 125 received study treatment; 92 (73%) completed the study. Change in 18F-florbetapir PET GCA SUVR, was not significantly different between either of the two ACC-001+QS-21 treatment groups and placebo (3 μg +QS-21 vs. placebo diff=-0.03, p=0.54; 10 μg +QS-21 vs. placebo diff=-0.08, p=0.07), but the trend was numerically consistent with a dose response. The geometric mean peak anti-Aβ IgG titers were slightly higher in the 10 μg than the 3 μg group. The proportion of responders was similar in both dose groups of ACC-001+QS 21. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) p-tau changes from baseline in both active treatment groups were not statistically different from placebo, but were numerically consistent with a dose response (3 μg +QS-21 vs. placebo diff=-3.2, p=0.57; 10 μg +QS-21 vs. placebo diff=-7.0, p=0.19). The vMRI showed statistically significant faster treatment-related decrease in brain volume in the 10 μg group but was not significant in the 3 μg group, compared with placebo (3 μg diff =-1.3 mL/year, p=0.50; 10 μg diff=-4.2 mL/year, p=0.02). Measured plasma Aβ levels increased in parallel with peak anti-Aβ titers after each injection. Amyloid-related imaging abnormalities with edema/effusion (ARIA-E) were more frequent in patients who received ACC-001+QS-21 than placebo (6% vs. 0%) but none were symptomatic. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events in the active groups were injection reactions, and occurred more frequently in the ACC-001+QS-21 groups than the placebo (48% vs 8%), the majority of which were mild and transient. Conclusions: Primary biomarker efficacy endpoints were not statistically significant in either dose group. The numerical decreases in 18F-florbetapir PET GCA SUVR suggests a dose-related trend for greater reductions in fibrillar amyloid burden in the ACC-001+QS-21 10 ug group compared with placebo. Likewise, while not significant, there was a numerical trend of decreased CSF p-tau levels with ACC-001, possibly consistent with a downstream effect in the ACC 001+QS-21 group. Insufficient antibody titers or quality, insufficient power to detect a difference, or too short duration of follow up may be reasons why a statistically significant response was not observed. Brain volume measures showed faster volume loss in the 10 µg treatment group, similar to the effect seen in few earlier AD immunotherapy trials which may suggest removal of amyloid and resultant decrease in inflammation. No new, unexpected safety signals were detected.

N. Ketter ; E. Liu ; J. Di ; L.S. Honig ; M. Lu ; G. Novak ; J. Werth ; G. LePrince Leterme ; A. Shadman ; H.R. Brashear (2016): A Randomized, Double-Blind, Phase 2 Study of the Effects of the Vaccine Vanutide Cridificar with QS-21 Adjuvant on Immunogenicity, Safety and Amyloid Imaging in Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (JPAD).

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