Lundbeck Shark Antibodies Join Fight Against Alzheimer's
Danish drug maker Lundbeck has reported to have breached the mice blood-brain barrier with the use of shark antibodies. This new breakthrough of getting drugs into the brain can help fight and treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
In partnership with Ossianix, a private U.S. biotech firm who funded the research announced on Thursday that tests on mice showed therapeutic antibodies could be attached to shark antibodies and acted as a transporter that crossed the blood-brain barrier.
The blood-brain barrier poses great challenges for drug developers on how to get modern large-molecule medicines or therapeutic drugs to the brain. Most patients have to take large quantities of drugs just to get some of the molecules to the brain. Some even inject those drugs directly to the brain just for it to take effect.
According to Financial Times, Frank Walsh, founder and chief executive of Ossianixin said that in two years human clinical trials could begin. If successful, in less than a decade the treatment could be made available to patients. They also hope to reverse the damage caused by Alzeihmer's and Parkinson's.
Sharks were the first species to develop antibodies millions of years ago. They have evolved immune systems that are similar to humans. Its antibodies are tenth the size of a normal antibody.
Walsh referred to the shark antibodies as the "Trojan Horse" when it was attached on the therapeutic antibodies. It shuttled across the barrier and reached the brain with the drugs administered in higher concentration.
Reuters reported the research is in its early phase and is years away from producing a marketed medicine. There might be a possibility that it can be applied for human use in the future due to its significant potential according to Kim Andersen, Lundbeck head researcher.
The Lundbeck research team is determined to use their shark antibodies and discover more effective treatments for brain diseases.