Prepping for an ambitious late-stage program to test its experimental Alzheimer's therapy, TauRx says it has banked a $31.5 million tranche from Malaysia's Genting Management, part of a $112 million commitment for the biotech upstart. TauRx says the rest of the money should arrive before the end of the year.
The cash will buy Genting--a company with widespread investments in Asia--20% of TauRx along with a board seat. And the biotech says that it has now raised an impressive $300 million in the 10 years since the company was founded.
"This investment by GMS affirms Genting's confidence in TauRx and will be directed to the conduct of our pivotal global Phase 3 clinical trials in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease with LMTX, TauRx's tau aggregation inhibitor," said Professor Claude Wischik, the U.K. scientist and executive chairman and co-founder of TauRx. The drug is the first such "TAI" to reach late-stage clinical trials, and investigators clearly believe that they can do what several Big Pharmas have failed to accomplish with amyloid beta drugs.
According to TauRx, its Phase II trial for an earlier version demonstrated a 90% reduction in the rate of disease progression over two years.
The first study in the Phase III program will involve 833 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease over 12 months, while the second study will include 500 people with mild Alzheimer's disease over 18 months, says the company. A third smaller study will aim to confirm treatment benefit in frontotemporal dementia in 180 subjects over 12 months. The clinical trials will be conducted in parallel and on a global basis including sites in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K.
- here's the press release
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