Nuron Biotech Inc. announced it has licensed from Vitruvian BioMedical, Inc. a gene-based (DNA) amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42) vaccine in preclinical development for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Nuron has an exclusive, worldwide license for the vaccine and is responsible for development and commercialization. Unlike a traditional vaccine for AD, the DNA vaccine does not contain amyloid beta itself but instead contains a piece of the gene coding for the amyloid beta protein. Once in the body, the vaccine stimulates an immune response in which antibodies that bind to and significantly reduce amyloid beta are produced. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This unique, promising vaccine candidate brings more opportunity to our pipeline and is one of the most promising new advances to improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients worldwide,” said Shankar Musunuri, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Nuron Biotech. “Alzheimer’s is a devastating neurodegenerative disease for which there is only a limited set of therapy options, so this novel approach to treatment is truly exciting.”
“We are very pleased to be working with Nuron in developing this important vaccine,” commented Arthur Bollon, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vitruvian BioMedical. “Research has shown that this adjuvant-free DNA vaccine is far superior to a peptide-based vaccine as it significantly reduces the levels of Aβ42, by about 50% in preclinical models, and importantly, it does not generate an inflammatory immune response in the brain.” The vaccine candidate was created at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
In the United States alone, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.4 million people and their families. It is the most common form of dementia and the fifth leading cause of death for individuals 65 years and older. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that the disease results in $200 billion dollars of healthcare costs in the United States each year.
Date: April 9, 2012
Source: Nuron Biotech Inc.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery