Last week AC Immune announced that it was starting a Phase I to test the ground for it’s pioneering new Alzheimer’s vaccine ACI-5. This comes after the Swiss biopharmaceutical company secured $22 million in a D round funding drive from the German billionaire Dietmar Hopp.
AC Immune hope to have more success than previous trials of Alzheimer’s vaccines, such as Elan’s attempt which ended abruptly after patient experience swelling of the brain, or Pfizer and J&J’s bapineuzumab which failed to outperform a placebo in phase III.
But whilst Elan’s offering looked to combat amyloid plaques, ACI-35 is the first to targets posphorylated Tau proteins, the second of the what are considered the two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Pre-clinical trials showed the vaccine was successfully reducing Tau aggregates thanks to the vaccine’s unique ability to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to combat the Tau proteins (twisted fibers in the brain).
“We are breaking new ground with the world’s first-ever vaccine targeting phospho- Tau which is now recognized as a key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune
ACI-35 is the latest addition to AC Immune’s strong pipeline of drugs for the degenerative disease. In combination with their ACI-24, which targets amalyod protein deposits, and an anti-Abeta antibody partner Genentech is working on, the future is looking positive in the Alzheimer’s space.
See the press release here.