Omicron has a low life span and, unlike other Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) medications, the genetic variation found in these vaccines cannot be passed on to future generations. In the past 30 years, researchers have found a number of genes associated with AD. But, Omicron contains only seven such genes.
According to Leonard Green, President and CEO of Brain Innovate and BioPort, based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, “Currently, all Alzheimer’s disease drugs, except one (Aricept) derive from identifying certain genes associated with AD and modifying those gene expression, and utilizing that genetic information to modify the human enzyme that activates those gene expression. For Aricept, or others, we haven’t found that enough commonality across genes so that we can go forward with a single or a series of drugs. Omicron is different.”
The Boston firm is seeking regulatory approval from the FDA to manufacture and market the vaccine that’s being shown to prevent AD in mouse models. If the vaccine is approved, scientists believe that people who are already at risk for the disease will be able to stop getting Alzheimer’s and be able to detect disease early.
Until recently, there was no treatment that affected the hallmark pre-epilepsy constellation of brain inflammation that is currently prevalent in roughly 15 percent of Alzheimer’s patients, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Drugs such as Aricept and Exelon are already approved for Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Dr. Sara Steelberg, Director of Molecular Psychiatry at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the researchers are working on “a way to change that. Our hope is for it to be identified and developed into a targeted vaccine that would be delivered to those individuals, potentially earlier than was previously possible.”
She says the vaccines that are already being developed are not particularly effective and produce the telltale brain swelling that’s characteristic of early AD.