Genentech and AC Immune partner again
19.06.2012 - Six years after their first alliance, Swiss AC Immune SA partners again with US-American Genentech Inc.
Basel/Lausanne – The subject of the new cooperation remained the same: fighting Alzheimer's disease. Therefore the Roche subsidiary has now in-licensed a second generation of AC Immune's antibodies - this time directed to bind the Tau protein. Under the terms of the agreement, AC Immune will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and research, development and commercialisation milestone payments totalling more than CHF400m. Additionally, AC Immune could pocket royalties on net sales resulting from the collaboration – if the product is approved.
Under the multi-year joint research collaboration, AC Immune will work in partnership with Genentech to identify and formulate several pre-clinical candidates. The pharma will have global responsibility for pre-clinical and clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation of antibodies resulting from the collaboration. Scientifically, both partners are building on the first alliance as the new Tau antibodies are thought to flank Crenezumab, an antibody in phase II resulting from the first cooperation that binds amyloid-beta-plaques (abeta).
By blocking Tau- fibrillation and destroying abeta aggregates, AC Immune attacks the two crucial steps in Alzheimer development. AC Immune has raised CHF64m since its foundation in 2003. Financiers are business angels from Switzerland and prominent biotech supporters like Dietmar Hopp, the founder of the German business software maker SAP. Beside the out- licensed antibody projects, AC immune develops a proprietary small molecule pipeline