SIU Med School Opens Enrollment in International Drug Study

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July 23, 2013

SIU Med School Opens Enrollment in International Drug Study

A physician at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has enrolled the first subject in an international Phase 3, multiple center drug study. Dr. Tom Ala, associate professor of neurology and interim director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (CADRD) at SIU, recently enrolled the subject in the clinical trial, announced Navidea Biopharmaceuticals of Dublin, Ohio, the drug manufacturer.   

The clinical trial, NAV4-02, will assess the safety and efficacy of NAV4694, an investigational PET (positron-emission tomography) imaging agent, in detecting cerebral β-amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brain and is believed to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Results from the study could help physicians diagnose AD earlier.

Currently only an autopsy can confirm that a person has AD. “Knowing if a patient has Alzheimer’s disease would lead to improved diagnosis and patient management,” said Ala, who is the principal investigator of the study at CADRD.

The World Health Organization estimates that AD affects more than 24 million people worldwide. In the U.S. alone, more than 5 million people have AD. By 2050, as many as 14 million Americans could have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The study will enroll two groups of individuals who are in the late stages of life: 1) individuals diagnosed with probable AD or other form of dementia or 2) non-demented volunteers who have other terminal illnesses. Participants must be age 21 or older. They will have an office visit and PET scan. An autopsy of the brain will be performed following death. Participants will not be charged for the tests related to the study, which is sponsored by Navidea Biopharmaceuticals.

Anyone interested in participating in the study should contact Barbara Lokaitis at blokaitis@siumed.edu or 217-545-9737.

Media Contacts

Karen Carlson,
SIU, 217-545-3854

Cindy Davidsmeyer,
SCI, 217-545-3837

Susan Helm,
SIU, 217-545-7012

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