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Investors Bet $22 Million On AC Immune SA, Will Start World's First Anti-Ptau Vaccine Trial For Alzheimer's Disease


1/10/2014 7:06:33 AM

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AC Immune raises CHF 20 million and initiates world's first anti-pTau vaccine trial for Alzheimer's disease

LAUSANNE, Switzerland I January 9, 2014 I AC Immune SA announced today it has successfully completed its round D financing by raising CHF 20 million from current private investors. The company also announced it has started the world’s first trial of a vaccine against the phospho-Tau target for Alzheimer’s disease.

Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune said: "We are very pleased to have secured these funds which enable us to continue building our extensive pipeline focused on Alzheimer’s and related diseases. We are breaking new ground with the world’s first-ever vaccine targeting phospho-Tau which is now recognized as a key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.” She continued: “The recent G8 Summit on Dementia in London highlighted the commitment by policy makers and experts of significant new financial and healthcare resources in quest of a cure for these terrible diseases. AC Immune is proud to be part of this global effort.”

“I am delighted that our current investors have demonstrated their continued confidence in the company’s science, clinical programs and management team. We look forward to further success in meeting the challenges of this important disease area,” commented Martin Velasco, Chairman of the Board.

CHF 20 million Financing Round D

The successful financing of CHF 20 million was fully subscribed by existing private investors who have now committed a total of CHF 84 million in four rounds since AC Immune was founded in 2003. The company will call on the latest funds in two tranches according to its financial requirements.

The new funds, along with existing cash resources, will enable AC Immune to further advance its clinical and pre-clinical drug pipeline. These resources will mainly support the newly initiated groundbreaking clinical trial of the anti-pTau vaccine ACI-35.

About anti-pTau vaccine ACI-35 and the clinical trial

ACI-35 is an active vaccine, discovered by AC Immune, stimulating the patient's immune system to produce conformation-specific antibodies against phosphorylated Tau protein. The phospho-Tau protein forms twisted fibers inside neuronal cells and builds tangles that are considered to be one of the two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, besides Abeta-plaques. During pre-clinical development, ACI-35 showed reduction of phospho-Tau aggregates and total pathological Tau and improvement of clinical parameters. The vaccine ACI-35 is also characterized by very specific antibody response against pathological Tau and its T-cell independent immune response, an important feature of AC Immune’s SupraAntigen technology platform, supporting the excellent safety profile.

The clinical trial is a Phase I, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical study with the primary objective of evaluating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of ACI-35. Secondary objectives will assess relevant biomarkers and functional and clinical parameters. Two groups of patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease will receive a different dose of ACI-35. Patient safety in the study has been secured by careful planning and extensive preclinical tests.

Crenezumab progress

AC Immune benefits from two existing major collaborations with Genentech, the most advanced of which is a Phase II trial of crenezumab in Alzheimer’s disease which is due to report data in 2014. Crenezumab is also being tested in the groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) trial in Colombia, which marked a milestone with the first participants receiving doses of crenezumab in December 2013.

SOURCE: AC Immune

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