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AC Immune SA Identifies Clinical Lead Compounds For Alzheimer's Disease Treatment



3/8/2006 12:32:09 PM

ECUBLENS and LAUSANNE, Switzerland, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- AC Immune, a Swiss Biotech Company developing innovative therapies against Alzheimer's Disease, today announced that it has identified lead drug candidates for clinical development for both active and passive immunotherapies. Both therapeutic approaches have shown significant improvement of the memory function in animal studies.

AC Immune's proprietary therapeutic approach against Alzheimer's Disease has resulted in the development of a vaccine as well as a passive immunotherapy with a selected monoclonal antibody which was highly active in animal models for Alzheimer's Disease. Both treatments significantly improved the memory capacity. The results also provided proof of AC Immune's key technology for active and passive immunization. Both therapies build on antibodies generated by AC Immune's SupraAntigen(TM) Technology. They are conformation-specific and have induced the anticipated transition from the insoluble to the soluble form of the plaque forming beta amyloid protein. This event directly correlated with the observed memory improvement.

"The highly significant functional improvement of memory function in Alzheimer's Disease animal models gives us a solid basis for the clinical development program in front of us," said Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune.

AC Immune also hired additional key staff with Dr. Andeas Muhs as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Dr. Wolfgang Frostl as Head of Chemistry and Dr. Maria Pihlgren as Head of Biology. Dr. Muhs has long-term experience in pre-clinical development of Biotech Products and has moved several projects from research to clinical programs. Dr. Frostl combines 28 years of medicinal chemistry experience in the pharmaceutical industry with specialization in drugs for the Central Nervous System (CNS). Dr. Pihlgren is an expert in Immunotherapy and worked several years at the WHO Collaboration Center for Vaccinology.

AC Immune now has a total staff of 13 coming from eight different nations.

"AC Immune's SupraAntigen(TM) technology has proven potential for conformation-specific immunotherapy of Alzheimer's Disease and opens possibilities for the treatment of other conformational diseases," said Andreas Muhs.

"AC Immune's product development progress positions the company well for potentially contributing to a disease-modifying therapy against Alzheimer's. With the recent financing of CHF 21 million, the new Laboratory location close to the EPFL and the important recruitment of specialized staff, the company is well prepared to bring therapeutic solutions and create shareholder and social value," commented Martin Velasco, Chairman of the Board of AC Immune.

AC Immune was founded in 2003 in Basel and is located in the Science Park on the Campus of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

Contact Dr. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO AC Immune Phone: +(41)-21-693-91-22 E-mail: andrea.pfeifer@acimmune.comwww.acimmune.com

AC Immune

CONTACT: Dr. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO, AC Immune, Phone: +(41)-21-693-91-22,E-mail: andrea.pfeifer@acimmune.com, www.acimmune.com


Read at BioSpace.com


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