AC Immune, Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences Collaborate
News Sep 25, 2015
Under the terms of the agreement AC Immune will provide its world leading expertise in the biology and pathology of Tau as well as committing its laboratory capabilities to support the collaborative research program. NIHS will apply its proprietary multiplexed antibody technology platform to the research program with the goal of identifying and validating a highly sensitive diagnostic assay for the detection of Tau in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune said: “We are very pleased about this research collaboration with the NIHS which marks our fourth partnership involving the Tau protein, endorsing our capability to develop both diagnostics and therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.” She continued “The development of a minimally invasive diagnostic test to identify patients at very early stages is considered as one of the most pressing needs in Alzheimer’s disease. Early diagnosis of this critical global health problem is equally needed for the development of pharmaceutical as well as nutritional approaches.”
Prof. Ed Baetge, Head of NIHS, explains: “Our overarching goal is to develop nutritional approaches and technologies that help people maintain or re-establish their cognitive vigor. We share the conviction that early diagnosis is critical if we were to create pharmaceutical as well as targeted nutritional approaches for Alzheimer’s disease. This collaboration agreement opens up exciting new possibilities in the quest to better understand and combat this debilitating disease”.
The formation of Tau tangles, along with Abeta plaques, in the human brain are recognized as the two major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease pathology. It is now well established that Tau correlates well with cognitive decline and disease progression. Therefore Tau may develop into a suitable companion biomarker for early diagnosis of 2 / 3 the disease. Such a diagnostic assay will be critical for the development of an Alzheimer’s treatment and in the longer term may offer the opportunity for looking into disease prevention. Early diagnosis is an important first step in a more holistic approach of managing Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases using therapeutics and nutrition.
In a small study of patients referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC), researchers report that about half the people referred to the clinic with a schizophrenia diagnosis didn’t actually have schizophrenia. People who reported hearing voices or having anxiety were the ones more likely to be misdiagnosed.