Tagged: plasma

Exciting Exenatide Exosomes

 

Recent analysis of blood samples collected during the Phase II clinical trial of Exenatide in Parkinson’s has uncovered a very interesting finding that could have major implications for not only Parkinson’s, but for many different neurological conditions.

Exenatide is a treatment that helps to control glucose levels in people with diabetes. More recently, however, it has been suggested that this drug may also have beneficial effects in Parkinson’s. A collection of clinical trials in Parkinson’s are currently unway to test this idea.

The researchers who conducted a Phase II clinical trial of Exenatide in Parkinson’s have analysed ‘exosomes‘ collected from the blood of participants, and they found something rather remarkable.

In today’s post we will discuss what exosomes are, what the researchers found, and why their discovery could have major implications for all of neurological research.

 


 

Here on the SoPD website we have discussed at length the Phase II clinical trial of Exenatide in Parkinson’s (Click here, here and here to read more about this).

This week, however, researchers involved in the study reported yet another really interesting finding from the trial. And this one could have profound consequences for how we study not only Parkinson’s, but many other neurological conditions.

What did they find?

Last week this report was published:

Title: Utility of Neuronal-Derived Exosomes to Examine Molecular Mechanisms That Affect Motor Function in Patients With Parkinson Disease: A Secondary Analysis of the Exenatide-PD Trial.
Authors: Athauda D, Gulyani S, Karnati H, Li Y, Tweedie D, Mustapic M, Chawla S, Chowdhury K, Skene SS, Greig NH, Kapogiannis D, Foltynie T.
Journal: JAMA Neurol. 2019 Jan 14. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.4304. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 30640362

In the Exenatide Phase II clinical trial, 60 people with moderate Parkinson’s were randomly assigned to receive either 2mg of Exenatide or placebo once weekly for 48 weeks followed by a 12-week washout (no treatment) period. The results suggested a stablisation of motor features over the 48 weeks of the study in the treated group (while the condition in the placebo group continued to progress).

During the study (which was conducted between June 2014 – June 2016), blood samples were collected at each assessement.

From those blood samples, serum was collected and analysed.

Remind me again, what is serum?

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From Alchemy to Alkahest

 

Numerous readers have asked about a curious new clinical trial being conducted by a biotech firm called ‘Alkahest’. The company has recently initiated a large (90 participants) Phase II study of their Parkinson’s-focused treatment called GRF6021.

This is an experimental, intravenously-administered treatment, which is derived from a components of blood.

In today’s post, we will discuss some of the research behind GRF6021, what this new clinical trial involves, and have a look at some other interesting Parkinson’s-related activities that Alkahest has ongoing.

 


Source: SFN

The Society of Neuroscience meeting is the largest annual research conference on brain relelated research, bringing approximately 40,000 neuroscientists together in October. At the Society of Neuroscience meeting in San Diego this year, however, there was considerable interest focused on several presentations dealing with blood.

The first presentation was from a group of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

The research team – led by group leader Dr Saul Villeda – were presenting new data suggesting that circulating immune cells were most likely responsible for the age-related reduction in neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) that occurs in certain areas of the brain (Click here to read the abstract for this presentation). They reported that the aged hematopoietic (blood) system led to impaired neurogenesis. Their take-home-message: the older the blood system, the less new cells being produced by the brain.

Sounds interesting right?

Well, at the same time in another part of the conference a second group of researchers were presenting equally impressive data: They have zeroed in of a small fraction of normal, young blood that they believe has interesting properties, particularly in reversing the cognitive deficits associated with aging mice (Click here to read the abstract of this presentation).

Their research has even narrowed down to a specific protein, called C-C chemokine receptor type 3 (or CCR3), which when inhibited was found to improve cognitive function and decreased neuroinflammation in aged mice (Click here to read the abstract of the presentation).

The humble lab mouse. Source: Pinterest

But specifically for our interests here at the SoPD, these same researchers displayed data which demonstrated that treatment with a novel fraction of human plasma resulted in significant improvements in motor function, cell survival and neuroinflammation three weeks after treatment in multiple mouse models of Parkinson’s (Click here to read the abstract of the poster).

(PLEASE NOTE: The author of this blog was not present at the SFN meeting and is working solely with the abstracts provided)

This second group of scientists were from a company called Alkahest, and they have recently started a clinical trial for people with Parkinson’s based on these results. That trial has garnered quite a bit of interest in the Parkinson’s community.What do Alkahest do?

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