AXON Neuroscience announced at the 13th International Conference on Alzheimer's & Parkinson's Diseases (AD/PD2017) that the encouraging clinical trial results of the company's active tau vaccine AADvac1 proved its therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). In cooperation with the German FTLD Consortium, AXON Neuroscience is starting a pilot Phase I study in patients suffering from the non-fluent variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (nfvPPA) - a subgroup of FTD. It is for the first time that nfvPPA patients worldwide will have the opportunity to participate in a clinical program with disease-modifying potential.
Potential to treat Frontotemporal Dementia with Tau Vaccine
Data from AXON's Phase I study in Alzheimer's Disease demonstrates that the antibodies elicited by vaccination with AADvac1 could recognize pathological tau protein in Alzheimer's Disease brains. This data suggests that the antibody response in patients can stop or slow down the progression of the disease.
During AD/PD 2017, AXON's Medical Director, Matej Ondrus, presented additional analysis of AXON's 18-month Follow-up Study of the Phase I, which directly confirms that the antibodies elicited by vaccination with AADvac1 could recognize pathological tau protein also in Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). This data displays that the antibodies produced by the vaccine target a common denominator of AD and FTD, in both of which tau pathology is the driver of the disease.
Matej Ondrus also noted the encouraging new findings from the study: "In this 96 weeks study we demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and we can detect first signals in the therapeutic efficacy." Norbert Zilka, Chief Science Officer of AXON, added: "We have observed a significant correlation between the amount of specific antibodies in the blood of treated patients and cognitive status. This finding nicely reflects our preclinical data. We are looking forward to confirm these results in the ongoing Phase II study in AD."
Pilot Phase I Study in nfvPPA - a subgroup of FTD
In the second quarter of 2017, AXON, in cooperation with the German FTLD Consortium, is initiating a pilot Phase I study with its active tau vaccine in nfvPPA patients. Currently, there is no disease-modifying treatment available for this indication.
During AXON's sponsored symposium at AD/PD 2017, Prof. Markus Otto, who is leading the German FTLD Consortium, said: "We are studying FTD patients at the FTLD Consortium for a long time and this is the first time to offer a perspective treatment to them. Finally, we are to accomplish with AXON the big milestone in these indications, where the unmet medical need is exceptionally high."
Non-fluent variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (nfvPPA)
The non-fluent variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia is a neurodegenerative disorder from the group of Frontotemporal Dementias, where tau pathology is one of the main drivers of the disease. During the initial phase of the disease, nfvPPA presents with a prominent, isolated language deficit. There is a progressive impairment of language during conversation or through speech. Other cognitive functions and motor problems may be also affected as the disease progresses.
AXON Neuroscience is a clinical-stage biotech company and a global leader in development of tau-immunotherapies. Researchers at AXON Neuroscience have worked extensively on the tau hypothesis for more than 25 years. AXON's focus is to deliver a disease-modifying drug and a diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's Disease and other Frontotemporal Dementias and bring a complex solution for people suffering from the devastating disease.