The Complexity of Frontotemporal Dementia and Potential of COYA 301: Stanley H. Appel, MD


The director of the Ann Kimball and John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics at Houston Methodist Hospital discussed the clinical manifestations of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and how Coya Therapeutics is moving toward precision medicine with their FTD candidate, COYA 301. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) presents a challenge because of its varied clinical forms, from language disruptions to behavioral changes, making each case unique and demanding tailored therapeutic strategies. Precision medicine is the key to unlocking effective treatments for FTD, as understanding individual phenotypes becomes crucial in suppressing inflammation and slowing disease progression."

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a neurodegenerative disease, is characterized by atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. According to a case study report published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the condition manifests in various forms that are categorized into behavioral, aphasic, and motor variants because of its diverse presentations.1 The behavioral variant, the most common type, involves personality changes, behavioral problems, and cognitive decline. As of currently, there are no curative therapies available for patients with FTD, and symptomatic treatment can be only administered to enhance quality of life.

According to a recent announcement, enrollment was just completed for the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 study (NCT06096090) assessing low-dose COYA 301 (Coya Therapeutics), an investigational interleukin-2 (IL-2) treatment, among patients with mild-to-moderate AD.2 Investigators in this study will evaluate the safety and tolerability, biological activity, blood and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, neuroimaging, and changes in cognitive function of LD IL-2 compared with the placebo at prespecified timepoints in a 21-week treatment period and at 9 weeks after the last dose administered Topline results for this study are expected in summer 2024.2

Coprincipal investigator Stanley H. Appel, MD, director of the Ann Kimball and John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics at Houston Methodist Hospital, recently sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss how the heterogeneity in clinical presentations of FTD, such as language disruptions and behavioral changes, impacts the development of effective therapies. Appel also talked about the role that precision medicine plays in addressing the diverse manifestations of FTD, and how it can enhance treatment outcomes. Additionally, he spoke about how genetic mutations contribute to the variability in FTD phenotypes, and the challenges clinicians may face in developing targeted therapies for this complex neurodegenerative condition.

1. Polyak E. Frontotemporális demencia viselkedéses variánsa: egy 54 éves nőbeteg esetének ismertetése [Behavioral Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia: A Case Report of a 54-Year-Old Female Patient]. Neuropsychopharmacol Hung. 2023;25(4):206-211.
2. Coya Therapeutics (Coya) Announces Completion of Enrollment in a Well-Controlled Phase 2 Study of Low Dose Interleukin-2 (LD IL-2) in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). News Release. Coya Therapeutics. Published October 9, 2023. Accessed January 4, 2024.
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