AC Immune, a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company, and Piramal Imaging, a division of Piramal Enterprises, have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement for the research, development and commercialization of AC Immune's Tau protein positron emission tomography (PET) tracers supporting the diagnosis and clinical management of Alzheimer's disease and potential Tau-related disorders.
The formation of Tau tangles in the human brain is recognized as one of two major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease pathology, with the other being beta-amyloid plaques. The development of the Tau tangle pathology appears to correlate well with cognitive decline, making it a potential strong target for diagnostic approaches. The availability of a Tau-PET tracer for imaging Tau tangles in the brain of patients would represent important progress towards relevant diagnostic endpoints and could be of significant value in guiding clinical trials for disease modifying AD therapeutics.
AC Immune will work in collaboration with Piramal Imaging to efficiently advance several lead candidates through late preclinical radio-pharmacology development. Piramal Imaging will have global rights for clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization of a Tau-PET Tracer resulting from the collaboration. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Dr. Ludger Dinkelborg, director of the board of Piramal Imaging, said, "This collaboration with AC Immune is an important next step in our mission to developing molecular imaging innovations that allow an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. So far there are no approved imaging technologies to detect Tau protein in patients, presenting a challenge in AD diagnosis and the development of disease modifying treatments.”
The agreement between the two companies is based on a long-term relationship in which AC Immune has used Piramal Imaging's beta-amyloid PET Tracer Neuraceq for imaging beta-amyloid plaques in the brain of patients undergoing phase I/IIa clinical testing of AC Immune´s Alzheimer´s vaccine ACI-24.