Scientists at Miles Research Center and their collaborators haveretracted their transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's diseasebecause other researchers have found amyloid-like deposits innon-transgenic mice of similar breeding backgrounds.

It is the second mouse model of the disease to be withdrawnthis month.

Writing today in Science, Johns Hopkins researchers inBaltimore described granules that appear in the brains of non-transgenic mice of the C57BL/6 strain as they age. In anaccompanying response, the Miles group reported finding thatolder non-transgenic litter mates of its test population indeedhad the same amyloid-like structures in the hippocampus asthe test animals.

Last week researchers associated with YamanouchiPharmaceutical Co. retracted its Alzheimer's model becauseinitial test results could not be replicated. The field is left withthe model developed by Scios Inc., formerly CaliforniaBiotechnology Inc.

Scientists at the Mountain View, Calif., company (NASDAQ:SCIO)are "moving forward, based on our data," said spokeswomanGloria Katsura. The team has presented the data at severalmeetings, and "it seems to be accepted by peers," Katsura said.

Athena Neurosciences Inc. is developing animal and cellularmodels of the disease in collaboration with researchers at St.Mary's Hospital in London. Cephalon Inc. announced Mondaythat it will collaborate with DNX Corp. to develop transgenicmice that express amyloid gene constructs.

Miles is still committed to the research program for developinga transgenic model, said spokesman Don Hyman. Miles Inc.,based in Elkhart, Ind., has one potential compound in clinicaltrials that is unrelated to the transgenic research at its WestHaven, Conn., research center.

-- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.