AC Immune Signs With Janssen Pharmaceuticals for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment Using Anti-Tau Vaccination

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by Isaura Santos |

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AC Immune SA recently announced it has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement and collaboration contract with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop and commercialize anti-Tau vaccines to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the contract, Janssen Research & Development, an affiliate of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., will advance the development of the vaccine ACI-35 which is currently going through a Phase Ib clinical trial in patients suffering from this common form of dementia. The ACI-35 vaccine works to stimulate the immune system so it produces a polyclonal antibody response against the phosphorylated Tau protein.

AC Immune will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development, research and commercialization payments for the purpose of addressing Alzheimer’s disease. The two companies will co-develop ACI-35 during Phase Ib. Come Phase II onwards, Jansen will assume the responsibility of carrying out the vaccine’s clinical advancement, manufacturing, and commercialization.

Andrea Pfeifer, AC Immune’s CEO said in a press release: “We are very pleased to begin this exciting strategic partnership with Janssen in a groundbreaking deal involving the first anti-pTau therapeutic vaccine. This is our third major collaboration with pharmaceutical partners involving the Tau protein and underscores the strength of our technology platforms for targeting proteinopathies and our success in bringing to the clinic Tau and Abeta therapies and diagnostics.”

Martin Velasco added: “This agreement is another validation of our leadership in Alzheimer’s disease and of the growing interest of the large pharmaceutical companies in this field. We are determined to remain at the forefront of the industry’s efforts to develop therapies to address this critical global health problem.”

The ACI-35 vaccine, currently in clinical development works to protect against Alzheimer’s disease by stimulating the immune system to activate the production of antibodies that selectively target phosphorylated Tau protein. “ACI-35 is the first therapeutic vaccine in clinical development that targets misfolded phospho-Tau protein that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to note that this vaccine approach offers the potential to treat Alzheimer’s patients earlier and in broad populations and has an exciting future aptitude to treat other rarer tauopathy indications,” noted Dr. Andreas Muhs from the AC Immune company.