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Oligomerix to target tau in Alzheimer's

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

The US drug discovery company Oligomerix has received $100,000 from the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation to fund a research programme to discover novel treatments for the neurodegenerative disease. The programme will use Oligomerix's proprietary Alzheimer's disease screening assays to select potential drug compounds active against tau oligomers, and test them in a tauopathy mouse model. Tau oligomers are believed to play an important role in neurodegeneration and memory loss, and are an emerging target for Alzheimer's drug discovery. Current Alzheimer's treatments just address the disease's symptoms but hopes of developing a disease-modifying therapy have met with little success to date. Most recently Myriad Genetics' investigational gamma secretase inhibitor failed in a Phase III trial, and last month Elan and Wyeth anounced that their monclonal antibody product, designed to bind directly to beta-amyloid to remove it from the brain, failed at the Phase II stage. Oligomerix claims to be the only company focused on drug discovery for Alzheimer's that targets soluble aggregates of tau (tau oligomers). The Portuguese company Bioavlo has candidates that target the tau protein at very early stages of development.

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