Masitinib given orally as an adjunct therapy has previously been reported to slow down cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and a multicenter phase III study was subsequently initiated in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (NCT01872598).
The current research provides evidence suggesting that masitinib’s therapeutic efficacy is associated with a synapto-protective action in relation with mast cells inhibition.
Dr Benoît Delatour, Principal Investigator of the Alzheimer’s and Prion Diseases team at the ICM (Paris Brain Institute, France) and senior author of the paper said, “This research has shown that masitinib can restore normal spatial learning performance in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease and also promotes synaptic recovery. As such, these findings link the previously reported positive proof-of-concept clinical data for masitinib in Alzheimer’s disease with evidence of a hitherto unknown synapto-toxic mechanism associated with mast cells that can be therapeutically targeted by masitinib”.
Olivier Hermine (President of the Scientific Committee of AB Science and member of the Académie des Sciences in France) commented, “These data suggest a novel mechanism by which masitinib exerts a neuroprotective effect in Alzheimer’s disease. Overall, these results provide a new compelling biological rationale for the use of masitinib in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease”.