Elan finds biomarker to monitor Alzheimer’s plaques
Dublin – The Elan Corporation has established a novel biomarker, 11C-PiB PET, that can detect whether Alzheimer drug candidates can reduce pathogenic beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of patients. With the new marker, Elan demonstrated in a phase II study on 28 patients that J&J’s/Janssen Cilag’s anti-beta-amyloid mAB bapineuzumab reduced cortical fibrillar amyloid-ß load in vivo after 78 weeks of treatment (Lancet Neurology) compared with both baseline and placebo. The technology used in the study could “play a major role in Alzheimer’s research and future clinical trial designs,” said Dr. Menghis Bairu, Elan’s chief medical officer. J&J had acquired Elan’s Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program (AIP) in 2008, which includes bapineuzumab IV and sub-cutaneous formulations, ACC-001 and backup compounds. Under the terms of the agreement Elan had received a 49.9% equity interest in Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary that runs the programme.