Shares of Vitae Pharmaceuticals dropped 5% this morning after the biotech reported that Boehringer Ingelheim had decided to dump its collaboration on a new BACE program for Alzheimer's.
With the Alzheimer's Association International Conference underway in Washington, DC, there's been a big focus on the late-stage pipeline. But scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center were focused on new animal data that they say supports work on a new group of antibodies that can tackle two of the chief culprits behind the brain-damaging disease.
On the heels of Axovant Sciences and its $315 million IPO bash, another small drugmaker is setting its sights on Wall Street with a late-stage Alzheimer's treatment and hopes of raking in more than $150 million.
AC Immune has picked up a milestone payment in its CHF 400 million ($421 million) anti-tau collaboration with Genentech. The Roche subsidiary handed over the cash after selecting a tau-targeting antibody developed in the collaboration to advance toward the clinic.
Universities regularly woo top scientists from rival institutions, recruiting not only high-profile individuals but their lab teams as well in the hope of bagging promising science and the millions in federal funding that go along with it. But in a rare confrontation, UC San Diego has sued USC and research scientist Paul Aisen for an alleged conspiracy to purloin data and investigators involved in prominent Alzheimer's research work.
You can score another setback for Roche's star-crossed attempt to develop a new drug for Alzheimer's. Roche partner Evotec reported that their drug sembragiline failed a Phase IIB study.
Alzheimer's has long been one of the most contentious fields in drug development. As one drug after the next failed in late-stage clinical studies, drug developers have been moving further and further upstream in the disease process to see if they can more effectively blunt the progress of this disease in early-stage patients.
Axovant Sciences, heading toward Phase III with an ex-GlaxoSmithKline treatment for Alzheimer's disease, has upped its IPO hopes to more than $300 million, betting it can win FDA approval where many others have failed.
Late last year, a newly formed Bermuda-based biotech struck a deal to in-license a shelved Alzheimer's drug from GlaxoSmithKline with plans to put it into Phase III. That late-stage study won't start until the fourth quarter, but the newborn biotech, now operating as Axovant Sciences, has filed for a $172.5 million IPO, looking to cash in fast on the still-sizzling market for biotech stocks.
Biogen turned heads around the industry last month with early data in which its plaque-destroying Alzheimer's treatment had a significant effect on patients' cognition, bucking a vexing trend for such antibodies. Among those paying close attention was Roche, which is now re-examining a pair of once-failed treatments.