A Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group, Randomized Clinical Trial of AC-1204 in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2020;75(2):547-557. doi: 10.3233/JAD-191302.


Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid-β plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and regional cerebral glucose hypometabolism. Providing an alternative metabolic substrate, such as ketone bodies, may be a viable therapeutic option.

Objective: The objective was to determine the efficacy and safety of the AC-1204 formulation of caprylic triglyceride administered daily for 26 weeks in APOE4 non-carrier participants with mild-to-moderate AD.

Methods: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study (AC-12-010, NOURISH AD, NCT01741194), 413 patients with mild-to-moderate probable AD were stratified by APOE genotype and randomized (1 : 1) to receive either placebo or AC-1204 for 26 weeks. The primary outcome was the change from baseline to week 26 on the 11-item Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale - Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog11) among APOE4 non-carriers. The key secondary outcome was the change from baseline to week 26 in the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study - Clinician's Global Impression of Change scale.

Results: Administration of AC-1204 was safe and well-tolerated. Mean changes from baseline in the primary outcome at 26 weeks in ADAS-Cog11 for placebo (n = 138) was 0.0 and for AC-1204 (n = 137) was 0.6 (LS differences of mean - 0.761, p = 0.2458) and secondary outcome measures failed to detect any drug effects.

Conclusion: The AC-1204 formulation of caprylic triglyceride failed to improve cognition or functional ability in subjects with mild-to-moderate AD. The lack of efficacy observed in this study may have several contributing factors including a lower ketone body formation from AC-1204 than expected and a lack of decline in the patients receiving placebo.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein E4; clinical trial; glucose; ketone body; ketosis; metabolism.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage
  • Triglycerides / therapeutic use*


  • Triglycerides

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01741194