Is passive immunization for Alzheimer's disease 'alive and well' or 'dead and buried'?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Passive immunization strategies are under investigation as potential disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Current approaches, based on data demonstrating behavioral improvement and reduced pathology in transgenic animal models, have focused exclusively on immune targeting of β-amyloid. Objective: To examine immunization strategies for AD. Methods: A review of relevant publications. Results/conclusions: Preliminary results from three Phase II trials suggest both the promise and the need to exercise caution with this method of immunotherapy. The strategies used were distinct, using monoclonal N-terminal, central epitope, and polyclonal antibodies to maximize the efficacy and safety of each approach. The tested compounds are moving into Phase III trials for mild to moderate AD. We await the discoveries that from these studies that may yield the first disease-modifying therapy for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-491
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
GA Jicha is supported by funding from the NIH/NIA 1 P30 AG028383 & 2R01AG019241-06A2, NIH LRP 1 L30 AG032934-01, Alzheimer’s Association NIRG-07-59967, and the Sanders-Brown Foundation. GA Jicha has also received research support for clinical trial activities from NIH/NIA ADCS U01AG010483, Pfizer, Inc., Elan Pharmaceuticals, and Baxter, Inc.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Passive immunization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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