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Welcome to the Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda.  This show is a window into the latest innovations in applying generative AI, novel therapeutics and vaccines, and the changing dynamics in the medical and healthcare environment. One focus is on how providers, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are empowering patients.  In addition, conversations are often about how providers, care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are being empowered by technology to improve patient outcomes and reduce friction across the healthcare landscape.

Popular Topics

  • Virtual and digital health
  • Use of AI, ML, and LLM in healthcare and drug discovery, development, trials
  • Value-based healthcare 
  • Precision and stratified medicine
  • Integration of digital technology into existing workflow and procedures 
  • Next-generation immuno, cell, and gene therapies
  • Vaccines
  • Biomarkers, sequencing, and imaging
  • Rare diseases
  • MedTech and medical devices
  • Clinical trials
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health
  • Treating chronic conditions like obesity and pain
  • Clinician and staff burnout

The audience includes life science leaders, researchers, medical professionals, patient advocates, digital health entrepreneurs, patients, caregivers, healthcare solution providers, students, journalists, and investors. 


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Empowered Patient Solutions

Feb 14, 2024

Andrea Pfeifer, Co-Founder, CEO, and Director of AC Immune, is developing vaccines for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Unlike vaccines for infectious diseases, these vaccines target internal proteins that are misfolded and contribute to the disease. These new vaccines are active immunotherapies against the Abeta protein. Trials are showing significant progress in overcoming safety concerns and lack of strong immune response for prevention, treatment, or maintenance therapy.  

Andrea elaborates, "When you speak about vaccines, you always think about infectious diseases where you have this external virus or bacteria coming in, and you develop an immune system response against this virus or this bacteria, something external. In our area, in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, we are activating the immune response of the body against an internal protein, but a misguided or misfolded protein."  

"This is why it's so difficult because you have to overcome the tolerance of the immune system and tell the immune system to develop an antibody response against a pathological toxic protein, which is endogenous. This requires special technologies to have the right immune response because you want the body to make antibodies only against the pathologic or the sick proteins, the misguided proteins, and not against the healthy proteins that are part of your body."

"We believe that this vaccine, or we prefer to speak about active immunotherapy, makes the difference between the vaccine response against exogenous factors, such as viruses, and the endogenous, misguided proteins. We believe this active immunotherapy can be used in a treatment manner or for prevention. It can be used for maintenance therapy after one of these therapies, which are becoming available now, has already been used to reduce these plaques in the brain of people. This is related to a better cognitive response. So, I think we're seeing multiple applications. Of course, the reason is the advantages of these active immunotherapies."

#ACImmune #ActiveImmunotherapy #AlzheimersVaccine #ABetavaccine #Neurodegeneration #VaccineDevelopment #CNS #Alzheimers #Parkinsons

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AC Immune