Ionis Pharmaceuticals has started a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to evaluate the Alzheimer’s therapy IONIS-MAPTRx. IONIS-MAPTRx is aimed at reducing the production of tau protein, whose accumulation in the brain is a hallmark of the disease. The trial will evaluate the therapy in patients with mild forms of Alzheimer's. Therapies targeting clusters of a toxic form of tau could prove a valuable way to treat Alzheimer's, according to a study published in February. The article, “Tau Reduction Prevents Neuronal Loss And Reverses Pathological Tau Deposition And Seeding In Mice With Tauopathy,” appeared in the journal Science Translational Medicine i Tau misfolding leads to an accumulation of toxic tangles inside brain cells. The tangles are a key feature of neurodegenerative diseases known as tauopathies. They include Alzheimer's and some forms of frontotemporal dementia, a rare early-onset disease that can result from neuronal damage to the brain's frontal and temporal lobes. "In contrast to amyloid plaques that may begin to deposit in the brain for up to 20 years before the onset of AD [Alzheimer'