Yale Researchers Partner with NIH and AstraZeneca on Alzheimer’s Drug

September 30, 2013

Yale researchers working with the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and AstraZeneca are testing a drug designed to slow or halt Alzheimer’s disease, which strikes one in eight older Americans. By 2050, it is estimated that as many as 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease.

This collaborative research, featuring Yale academic partners Stephen M. Strittmatter, Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology and Professor of Neurobiology, Haakon Berge Nygaard, Assistant Professor of Neurology, and Christopher H. Van Dyck, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurobiology, is testing a drug that will block Fyn kinase activity. In mice models, the protein Fyn kinase impairs memory and reduces signaling between brain cells—when it’s removed, these symptoms stop. Dr. Strittmatter says, “Now we’re beginning a trial together with AstraZeneca in order to find out whether this drug can slow down the loss of memory and preserve memory functioning for millions of Americans suffering from this disease.”