Finding a treatment for CJD

What is PRN100?

World-leading research at the MRC Prion Unit at UCL developed an experimental antibody treatment called PRN100. This was designed to stop prions from malfunctioning in the brain.

Positive results were shown in laboratory testing and a small number of patients were given PRN100 in an experimental treatment programme in 2018/2019.

The results of the experimental treatment programme were written up in an article published in The Lancet Neurology in April 2022. Read the full article here.

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World-leading research

The MRC Prion Unit at UCL conducted long term research to develop the experimental antibody treatment PRN100. Applications for funding to support a clinical trial were unsuccessful, and as CJD is a rare condition, it does not attract the same interest from the pharmaceutical industry as other more common diseases.

UCLH NHS Foundation Trust approved a Treatment Programme using the limited amount of PRN100 that was available. Six patients were treated in this way exhausting all the material available. Although all of these patients eventually died, the results of the Programme were encouraging, with valuable information (set out in the Lancet Neurology article) which will be helpful in developing the treatment further.

Funding for more research is required to keep momentum going in the quest for a successful treatment. The Cure CJD Campaign will continue to help fundraise until that can be achieved. The cost of manufacturing PRN100 treatment and conducting a pivotal clinical trial will run into many millions. The Campaign is committed to supporting research at the MRC Prion Unit at UCL to enable this to happen.

Professor John Collinge on a treatment for CJD

Professor John Collinge is head of the Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Institute of Neurology. He is also director of the UK Medical Research Council’s Prion Unit, a highly multidisciplinary research unit focusing on human prion disease, and leads the NHS National Prion Clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where he is an honorary consultant neurologist.

In this interview, John Collinge discusses a first-in-human treatment programme to give PRN100, an anti-prion-protein monoclonal antibody, to patients with Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease; the report is published in the April 2022 issue of The Lancet Neurology.

We have raised approximately £900,000 so far

Thanks to our generous supporters, this is a great start, but much more is needed to continue vital research and help to make a viable treatment. With your help, we can reach our target.