A new hope for Alzheimer´s


Preclinical evidence with nilotinib, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)‐approved drug for leukemia, indicates improvement in Alzheimer's disease phenotypes.

In a new study the researchers investigated whether nilotinib is safe, and detectable in cerebrospinal fluid, and alters biomarkers and clinical decline in Alzheimer's disease.

Nilotinib 150 mg versus matching placebo was taken orally once daily for 26 weeks followed by nilotinib 300 mg versus placebo for another 26 weeks.

Of the 37 individuals enrolled, 27 were women and the mean (SD) age was 70.7 (6.48) years. Nilotinib was well‐tolerated, although more adverse events, particularly mood swings, were noted with the 300 mg dose. In the nilotinib group, central nervous system (CNS) amyloid burden was significantly reduced in the frontal lobe compared to the placebo group. Cerebrospinal fluid Aβ40 was reduced at 6 months and Aβ42 was reduced at 12 months in the nilotinib group compared to the placebo. Hippocampal volume loss was attenuated (−27%) at 12 months and phospho‐tau‐181 was reduced at 6 months and 12 months in the nilotinib group.

Nilotinib is safe and achieves pharmacologically relevant cerebrospinal fluid concentrations. Biomarkers of disease were altered in response to nilotinib treatment. These data support a larger, longer, multicenter study to determine the safety and efficacy of nilotinib in Alzheimer's disease.