AC Immune, Ltd. enters into an Exclusive Global License Agreement and
Research Collaboration with Genentech, Inc. for Development of
Anti-beta-amyloid Antibodies for the Potential Treatment of
Alzheimer's Disease and other human Diseases.
Ecublens/Lausanne, Switzerland (ots)
- AC Immune, Ltd., a Swiss
Biotech Company developing innovative therapies against Alzheimer's
Disease, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive global
license agreement and research collaboration with Genentech, Inc. for
the development of anti-beta-amyloid antibodies for the potential
treatment of Alzheimer's Disease and other human diseases.
Beta-amyloid constitutes an important target for disease-modification
of Alzheimer's disease and AC Immune has developed
conformation-specific antibodies against this protein generated by
its SupraAntigen Technology.
Under the terms of this agreement, Genentech will make an upfront
payment to AC Immune, with the potential for a total of over $300
million in payments upon successful completion of clinical and
regulatory milestones for Alzheimer's and additional applications.
Upon commercialization of a product, Genentech will pay AC Immune
royalties on net sales of AC Immune's antibodies in the field of
Alzheimer's or other human applications. Genentech will also provide
funding for a multi-year collaborative research program and will
cover all development and clinical costs of the lead antibody and
subsequent antibody candidates.
"Out-licensing one of our lead programs to Genentech achieves a
major business objective for the company and represents a significant
milestone in the 3-year history of AC Immune", said Prof. Andrea
Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune Ltd. "Genentech is an excellent, and our
preferred, collaborator for the antibody program due to its expertise
in development and commercialization of antibodies".
"The terms of the deal will provide AC Immune with a solid
financial basis beyond the next three years to develop other programs
at full speed", said Dr. Armin Mäder, CFO of AC Immune.
AC Immune's proprietary SupraAntigen Technology resulted in
development of an anti-beta-amyloid antibody program with a selected
lead antibody, which has been shown to be highly active in animal
disease models for Alzheimer's disease. The lead antibody is
conformation-specific and induced the proposed transition from an
insoluble to the soluble form of the plaque forming beta-amyloid
protein. This event directly correlated with memory improvement.
"AC Immune's technology has proven very effective for the
generation of conformation-specific antibodies that have potential
for the treatment of conformational diseases", said Dr. Andreas Muhs,
CSO of AC Immune.
"We are thrilled that Genentech has taken such an interest in our
Alzheimer's antibody program", said Martin Velasco, Chairman of the
Board of AC Immune. "We are hopeful that in collaboration with
Genentech we may develop a potential treatment for Alzheimer's
disease for the benefit of millions of patients worldwide".
About AC Immune
AC Immune is a privately held company focusing on the development
of therapies against Alzheimer's disease, a so-called conformational
disease. AC Immune is using its proprietary immunology platform to
develop active and passive immunotherapies, i.e. vaccine and
monoclonal antibodies, against Alzheimer's disease, directly reducing
the toxic beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. AC Immune's proprietary
immunology platform technology brings the ability to generate
conformation-sensitive antibodies for passive and active immune
therapies. The company's products are in the preclinical stage and
the first product will enter clinical Phase I in 2007.
The company was founded in February 2003 in Basel, Switzerland and is
located in the Science Park, PSE, on the Campus of the Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology in Ecublens/Lausanne, Switzerland.
ots Originaltext: AC Immune SA
Dr. Andrea Pfeifer