US-based biotech company Vaxxinity has revealed positive data from part B of its Phase I study with its Parkinson’s vaccine UB-312, demonstrating a 20% reduction in toxic protein levels among enrolled patients.  

UB-312 is a synthetic peptide vaccine that targets toxic forms of aggregated anti-alpha-synuclein (aSyn), a protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease, which controls synaptic functions and regulates the release of neurotransmitters. 

In data announced at the ongoing Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease (AD/PD) Conference 2024 in Lisbon, Portugal, participants receiving UB-312 demonstrated a 20% reduction in aggregated aSyn levels in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to placebo. Those with detectable UB-312-induced antibodies showed improvements in daily living activities, and a correlation was observed between reduced aggregated aSyn and improved clinical scale scores. 

As part of the clinical trial, the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) funded a two-year collaborative project between Vaxxinity, the Mayo Clinic, and UTHealth Houston, analysing patients’ cerebrospinal fluid and conducting exploratory research. 

The company previously announced that the Phase I trial for UB-312 hit the primary endpoints in June 2023, but the AD/PD conference presentation provided a more detailed look. Results from Part A of the trial with healthy volunteers were published back in 2022. 

There are no currently approved treatments that address the underlying mechanisms that lead to Parkinson’s. According to a report on GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center, sales for Parkinson’s drugs in the seven major markets (UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan) will reach $6.3bn by 2029. 

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In the announcement accompanying the data, Vaxxinity’s executive chairman Lou Reese said: “Our findings suggest UB-312 could transform Parkinson’s care, offering hope for improved outcomes with a disease-modifying treatment. The future isn’t decades away: today’s Parkinson’s patients may have hope for the near, not distant future.” 

Another company targeting Parkinson’s with aSyn active vaccines is Swiss biotech AC Immune, which announced that it will be moving onto the second part of its Phase II trial of ACI-7104.056, at the same conference this week.