Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease: AFFiRiS halted clinical progression in Alzheimer patients upon treatment with AD04 in a phase II clinical study


AFFiRiS AG of Vienna, Austria, has released for the first time results of a clinical phase II study in Alzheimer patients of its proprietary compound AD04, a therapeutic drug against Alzheimer’s disease. The results show an impressive therapeutic effect of AD04 and make it the first ever compound demonstrating clinical and biomarker evidence consistent with disease modification of Alzheimer’s disease. A statistically significant correlation was demonstrated between the cognitive/functional outcome and the volume of the hippocampus, the region of the brain locating the cognitive/memory functions, both of which demonstrated positive impact on disease progression over 18 months. Similar stabilisation was also seen across behavioural and quality of life outcomes.

There was also a stabilisation of the cognitive/functional endpoint found in those patients of this study who were treated with AD02, so far the company’s lead compound in AD. Dependent on dosage and formulation of AD02 in three different study arms, 24-31% of the patients showed cognitive/functional stabilisation or improvement. However, statistically significant correlation with biomarker Hippocampus volume could not be demonstrated within the observation period of 18 months. Altogether 332 patients were treated in an international multicentric clinical trial into five different study arms, and over 85% completed the study.

Significant Impact 

Commenting on these results, Walter Schmidt, chief executive officer and co-founder of AFFiRiS AG, states: “Our results demonstrate that AD04 is the first drug ever to show disease modifying properties in Alzheimer’s patients. This success is owed to our strategy of clinical maturation, which in the case of Alzheimer’s has so far moved forward four different product candidates namely AD01 – AD04 into clinical development.”

Frank Mattner, chief scientific officer and co-founder, adds: “Both compounds applied in this trial, AD02 and AD04, showed excellent safety profiles. Top compound AD02 performed very well in stabilisation of cognitive functions in a dose dependent manner. 24-31 % of treated patients showed stabilisation of clinical progression. However, AD04 turned out to be superior to AD02 as 47% of the patients stabilised regarding their cognitive/functional status. On top of this, this effect was statistically significantly correlated with the rescue of the hippocampus, the region of the human brain, where cognitive and memory functions are located (p=0.0016). This correlation of significant clinical and biomarker effects meets EMA’s and FDA’s definition of disease modification in the context of a compound with a consistent mode of action. Therefore, we decided to have a strong focus on AD04 for further clinical development. Our strategy of clinical maturation allows for an efficient progress during clinical development. By doing so, it reduces financial risks associated with any clinical trial.” In fact, the clinical maturation strategy has been established by AFFiRiS and is based on parallel clinical testing of several drug candidates against a certain disease to ensure that the best therapy for humans will be developed.”