Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune SA, commented: “Lilly has brought substantial experience in neurology, and particularly in Alzheimer’s disease, to this collaboration. This milestone payment recognizes that the development of the lead small molecule MorphomerTM in our collaboration, ACI-3024, is progressing. At AC Immune, we are proud to be advancing in collaboration with our partners the clinical development of three additional products targeting Tau – an antibody, a therapeutic vaccine and a diagnostic biomarker – for treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”
“The start of the ACI-3024 Phase 1 study, represents an important advancement in the broader effort we are making and further expands our robust clinical pipeline to address neurodegenerative diseases, in particular for therapeutics and diagnostics targeting Tau.”
In the complex treatment paradigm for AD, Tau pathology is a potential therapeutic target. Tau spreads with a characteristic spatiotemporal pattern throughout the brain that coincides with both clinical symptoms and disease progression in AD. Slowing the propagation of Tau pathology may slow disease progression and reduce cognitive decline. Anti-Tau therapies already have shown promise in slowing the progression of Tau pathology in animal models.
ACI-3024 is the lead molecule being developed in the license and collaboration agreement between AC Immune and Lilly to research and develop small molecule Tau aggregation inhibitors for the treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration combines AC Immune’s proprietary Morphomer™ discovery platform and early development experience with Lilly’s established clinical development expertise and commercial capabilities in central nervous system disorders. Under the agreement AC Immune is conducting the initial Phase 1 development of the Morphomer™ Tau aggregation inhibitors while Lilly will fund and conduct additional research and further clinical development.
The Phase 1 trial initiated in July is a randomized, placebo controlled, double blind, sequential single and multiple ascending dose study that aims to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of ACI-3024 in healthy volunteers.