Alzheimer’s Progress – AC Immune and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Collaborate to Prosper
Alzheimer's disease – a condition of neurodegeneration, is one of the deepest medical mysteries, that generations of scientists have worked to understand and cure. With 44million people worldwide affected by the disease in 2013 alone and Alzheimer's being the sixth leading cause of death in the US in the same year, solving the case would be the hallmark of a generation.
The Tau and Abeta proteins are both highly important in neurodegeneration, and have been picked up on by Janssen Pharmaceuticals to form the basis of a new vaccine – ACI-35, which protects the patient from harmful Tau proteins and could hence revolutionise the treatment and therapy for Alzheimer's patients.
Progress has now been made to commercialise and further develop this ground-breaking new treatment, with a three-year global partnership worth up to $509million agreed between the Pharmaceutical giant Janssen and AC Immune, a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical firm that has raised 84million Swiss Francs since its founding. AC immune's Chairman of the Board Martin Velasco is an Ariadne Capital shareholder and fund investor, and as a business angel voted as a 'leader of European change' by Business Week, Martin understands the importance of collaboration. Also as a board member of BlueOrchard microfinance advisory, he understands how the sharing of information can help innovative solutions to grow and to work. The agreement between AC Immune and Janssen will involve the sharing of information and trials – making the treatment safer and more effective, and joint collaborative research. The partnership shows the importance of collaboration in both business and medicine. Both firms will prosper financially as a result of a successful rollout of the treatment, but more importantly, the sharing of resources helps to further develop a medicine with such potential to change lives.
This partnership has generated plenty of optimism for the future of the mission to cure Alzheimer's. We are finally seeing major breakthroughs in its treatment, and it is vital that pharmaceutical companies collaborate in this way to join world-class expertise and ensure that access to efficient medicines on the commercial market is widespread. The merging capabilities of Janssen and AC Immune demonstrate that our capacity for research and education are aided significantly by communication and mutual endeavour, and through this, we may now have the chance of improving the lives of the millions of patients affected by such a complex and damaging condition.
You can read the recent press release detailing the partnership here.