Recently, AbbVie and Alector Company have announced a global strategic cooperation agreement that they would jointly develop innovative therapiesfor the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases innovative therapies. Alector is a Biotech Corp focused on targeting the immune system to treat neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. According to the agreement, Alector will receive $205 million upfront investment from AbbVie, and is responsible for the early-stage research and development; AbbVie company is responsible for the late-stage research, development and marketing activities.
AD is common in the elderly. Patients first suffer from memory deficits, and as the symptoms worsen, they gradually lose their ability to take care of themselves. Amyloid deposition and Tau protein entanglement in the brain are important features of AD patients. Therefore, many therapies focus on targeting amyloid or Tau proteins. But so far, none of these therapies have been successful in later clinical trials.
The founders of Alector believe that the causes of AD are manifold, and the single target of amyloid or Tau protein are lack of significant effects on patients. Genome-wide association study shows that more than half of the genes that raise the risk of developing disease are expressed only in the immune system, rather than in the nervous system. This means the immune system plays a very important impact on the pathogenesis and progression of AD.
Alector's immuno-neurology research and development platform seeks to discover monoclonal antibodies in surface receptor proteins of the targeting microglia. Microglia are immune cells in the central nervous system, which play an important role in the elimination of amyloid deposition. Meanwhile, the inflammatory response of its media may also exacerbate the disease. By targeting the receptor protein in microglial cell surface, the company hopes to be able to adjust the function of immune cells in the brains of AD patients, so that they can remove amyloid deposits more efficiently and do not cause massive inflammatory responses. Alector has identified 12 targets in microglia, and is currently developing monoclonal antibodies which are aimed at these targets.
According to the agreement, AbbVie and Alector will jointly study a series of antibody targets, and AbbVie holds the right to obtain global development and marketing rights for two targets. Alector Company will be responsible for the early-stage research and development; After the acquisition and marketing rights, the AbbVie Company will take over the later-stage research and development and marketing activities.
“The Recent research progress in the field of central nervous system diseases | make an inventory (forty-second)" from WuXi Apptec, on October 31, 2017