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Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany, will provide its development candidate florbetaben, a so called PET (positron emission tomography) tracer, to the Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company AC Immune SA, to support a clinical trial in the field of Alzheimer´s disease (AD). This study is conducted to develop a therapy option for the treatment of AD. Bayer´s novel PET tracer florbetaben will be applied for imaging of beta-Amyloid deposition in the brain of patients undergoing the phase I clinical testing of AC Immune´s Alzheimer´s vaccine ACI-24. In this collaboration, florbetaben will be tested for the very first time in the development of a potential therapeutic for Alzheimer’s patients.
"The adoption of a diagnostic imaging substance visualizing the deposition of beta-Amyloid that is targeted by our vaccine can be an important parameter for dose selection, and will provide useful complementary data," said Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune.
Currently, there is no diagnostic test on the market that can detect beta-Amyloid deposition in the brain - a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer´s disease - in patient´s lifetime. Today, the clinical diagnosis of AD is based on cognitive tests, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) scans to exclude other dementia diseases.Unfortunately, clinical diagnosis is often made too late and does not always correlate with post-mortem diagnosis. A good diagnostic assay should also help to better evaluate the effect of new treatments in clinical trials as well as correlate better with existing pathological and memory markers.
A new diagnostic tool to detect beta-Amyloid in the brain in vivo might also be beneficial in detecting the disease earlier, before the symptoms are too advanced so treatment could be started earlier.