MimoVAX EC Project FP6 (2006-2008) LSHB-CT-2006-037702
European team will develop Alzheimer vaccine under Austrian leadership



Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in humans. According to the Alzheimer Association, there are approximately 12 million patients world-wide, with an estimated social cost of €40.000 per patient/year. Currently, there is no effective treatment available to stop the progressive neuro-degeneration and associated cognitive decline in AD patients.


AD is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques consist mainly of Amyloid- (A) peptides Ab40/42 derived from the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). Immunotherapeutic treatment targeting Ab led to amyloid plaque reduction and showed a beneficial impact on the disease progression in animal models. However, the first phase II clinical vaccination trial in AD patients using full length Ab42 as antigen had to be discontinued due to severe neuroinflammatory side effects that were observed, including brain infiltration by autoreactive T-cells.


In humans, most of the amyloid plaque material is formed by N-terminally truncated and modified Ab derivatives. These truncated Ab species are correlated with the increasing severity and early onset of neurodegeneration in AD patients. In light of the characteristics of amyloid composition in patients, these truncated Ab are highly attractive targets, providing neoepitopes not present in the parental APP. The Mimotope technology presented in this proposal will be used to create antigens mimicking potentially pathological B-cell epitopes on truncated Ab. Therefore, a Mimotope-based AD vaccine targeting truncated forms of Ab would induce a safe antibody response exclusively reacting with the pathological Ab molecules but not with the parental APP, avoiding the induction of autoreactive T-cells. Thus, the MimoVax vaccine will provide an innovative, safe, cost effective and efficient approach to successfully treat AD patients and to limit the severe personal and economic impacts of AD on patients, their families and society.