Wits Commercial Enterprise
Overview of innovation

Wits researchers have developed a new compound for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, through the modulation of the laminin receptor in humans and animals. The developed compound is an antibody administered intranasally, for AD treatment, specifically treating the neuronal loss characteristics of the disease. In addition, a method of modulating the levels of Alzheimer’s disease-relevant proteins has been developed, resulting in the prevention or treatment of the disease.

There is a need for compounds which in use, modulate the production and levels of amyloid precursor proteins (APP, β and γ-secretase as well as Aβ) that cause the undesired aggregation of the amyloid protein in AD. Due to the minimal understanding of the disease-causing mechanism, currently, only palliative treatment options for AD are available. Clinical trials involving the inhibition of Aβ and γ-secretases failed due to adverse side effects. Therefore, a different and uncharacterized approach to targeting the AD proteins is necessary for AD therapeutics. Molecular tools such as antibodies and RNA could prove to be effective in the prevention and treatment of AD.

In vivo studies in mice showed that anti-LRP/LR-specific antibody improved recognition and learning/short-term memory as well as decreased Aβ accumulation with a concomitant increase in mTERT levels

Type of Intellectual Property protection
Innovation Opportunity Type
Human health and social work activities
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 2 – Practical application identified