MRC Technology Announces Humanization of Anti-Tau Monoclonal Antibody for Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy

22 Jul 2014
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Antibody inhibits Tau aggregation involved in the pathology of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases

MRC Technology, a technology transfer organisation, announced today that it has successfully humanized an anti-tau monoclonal antibody, which has applications in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative tauopathies. The humanized tau antibody represents an important milestone for developing a disease modifying immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease. MRC Technology was contracted to humanize the antibody by AXON Neuroscience SE, a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of disease modifying immunotherapeutics and early diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles consisting of diseased forms of protein tau. Tau cortical neurofibrillary tangles correlate well with the severity of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease and thus represent a valuable target for disease modifying therapy. Targeting disease modified tau appears to be a promising way to slow down or even stop progression of the disease.
 
Immune-based therapeutic
Michael Dalrymple, Director of Business Development at MRC Technology, said: We are very pleased with the outcome of this project and are hopeful that the positive evaluation results for the humanized antibody will prove to be a milestone in the development of effective treatments for this debilitating disease.”

“Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is still recognised as an unmet medical need. Our company has considerable expertise in the area and I believe we are on the right track to developing an effective therapy that has the potential to stop progress of the disease,” commented Roman Sivak, Chief Executive Officer at AXON Neuroscience. “We thank MRC Technology for their invaluable support in humanizing this antibody, an essential step in its development as an immune-based therapeutic.”

Clinical trials
MRC Technology has humanized over 50 antibodies to date, including three marketed products, Tysabri (natalizumab), Actemra (tocilizumab) and Entyvio (vedolizumab). A further six are in clinical trials (including pembrolizumab (MK3475)), with two more in preclinical studies. 
 

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Michelle Maxwell
Drug Discovery Editor