Johnson & Johnson puts $1.5bn in Elan for Alzheimer's vaccine


Dublin/New Brunswick – Pharma giant Johnson &Johnson will buy all assets of Irish Elan Pharmaceuticals’ Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Programme (AIP) through a newly formed company. The new company will pay $1 billion for an 18.4% stake in Elan and will pledge $500 million towards developing bapineuzumab, an intravenously administered passive vaccine candidate directed against the A-beta peptide to slow the disease's progression in the 30% of Alzheimer patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who do not carry the Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) allele (non-carriers).
Elan currently develops the antibody therapy with Wyeth in several Phase III trails and – as subcutaneous injection – in Phase II trials.
Previous approaches of Elan and Wyeth to actively immunise volunteers against a synthetic version of the A-beta peptide, which clumps together in the brain of Alzheimer patients, failed due to saftety issues. About 6% of people vaccinated with an active vaccine called AN-1792 showed a removal of A-beta plaques, but 6% of subjects developed aseptic meningitis in a Phase IIa trail.
Whether the treatment of patients with anti-A-beta antibodies will induce similar side effects is currently unknown. One report has shown that frequency and severity of cerebral microhemorrhage is significantly increased in a passive immunotherapy experiment. In April, Wyeth and Elan discontinued vaccination of ApoE4 non-carriers with the 2.0 mg/kg dose following a review of vasogenic edema of its independent data monotoring committee. Tests with the 0.5 and 1 mg/kg dose will be continued.



While on a trip to strengthen economic ties between Ireland and California, Ireland's minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, Richard Bruton, revealed on 15 March that two Irish government organisations have provided...



Dublin – Irish drugmaker Shire plc has agreed to pay US-$100m in upfront for Ferrokin Biosciences Inc., a San Francisco-based specialist for iron chelation therapies. US-$225m could be added if certain milestones are achieved....



Abbott Laboratories is to spend a85m and expand its pharmaceutical manu­facturing facility in Sligo (Ireland), saying that would help the company to ensure its supply of compounds in bio­pharmaceutical areas like virology and...



Weston/Dublin - The focus for Tysabri, the MS drug jointly developed by Irish Elan and US-Biogen, has become a little more accurate. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that the occurrence of antibodies against the...



Dublin/Cambridge – The University of Cambridge and Irish drugmaker Elan Pharmaceutical Inc. have joined forces in the battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. Together, the two will create the Cambridge-Elan Centre for Research...



Uppsala/Craigavon - Irish Almac trusts a Swedish platform to develop new cancer drug candidates. As Uppsala-based Beactica announced on Tuesday, its Sprint-technology will be used to identify fragment hits against a number of...



Dublin /New York – Irish Tibotec Pharmaceutical Ltd and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) have entered into a clinical collaboration for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infections with a combination of BMS’ NS5A replication complex...



Athlone – Biopharma group Alkermes has established its new Irish corporate base following its merger with Elan Drug Tech­nologies. The a712m (US$960m) deal agreed back in May – which saw Alkermes acquire Elan’s Athlone-based drug...

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