Takeda, Zinfandel double-team Alzheimer's biomarker

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but the earlier it is detected, the better the chances are of being able to delay its symptoms or at least prepare for them. To that end, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Zinfandel Pharmaceuticals are getting together to see if they can validate a biomarker known as TOMM40 as a test for Alzheimer's disease in older adults with normal cognition. The two companies will study pioglitazone, an active ingredient of Takeda's Actos (pioglitazone HCl), in connection with the TOMM40 biomarker and Alzheimer's.

TOMM40 was discovered by a team led by Zinfandel CEO Allen Roses. It's being developed to identify those at high risk of developing Alzheimer's within the next five years of their lives.

"There is intense interest within the medical community in identifying treatments to help delay progression or potentially prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, in an effort to reduce the burden of this disease," said Shigenori Ohkawa, Takeda's chief scientific officer, in a statement. "We are energized by this partnership and the opportunity to develop an effective treatment for healthy at-risk older adults."

Zinfandel will receive an upfront payment of $9 million and subsequent payments of up to $78 million for development milestones from Takeda.

- read the Takeda-Zinfandel release
- and here's a list of benefits of early detection from the Alzheimer's Assocation