Bio21 researcher makes advances towards an antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s

15 April 2015

Renowned scientist and Bio21 affiliate Professor Michael Parker was recently published in Scientific Reports for his research into antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.  

Professor Parker, a University of Melbourne Honorary Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, has been working with a team at the Australian Synchrotron to examine the workings of two drugs currently in development to treat Alzheimer’s. Despite disappointing early clinical trials of the drugs, Professor Parker’s research has provided a new level of detail in the analysis of the drugs’ performance.

The research visualised how solanezumab and crenezumab, two antibody drugs, bound themselves to the amyloid-beta molecule, a peptide that is thought to be toxic to the brain and is considered an early warning sign in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

"If you can visualise how the antibody is interacting with the toxic peptide successfully, we can develop improved antibody drugs," Professor Parker said to The Age.

"[And] if an antibody fails we can say 'well this may be why it's not interacting with the peptide in the right way'."

Professor Parker and his team hope that their research will assist drug companies in the development of the antibody drugs, and are also using their findings to develop new drug treatments themselves. 

Read the story on The Age online.

Read the Nature publication.