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Posted by on Jul 14, 2010 in Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Pharma

Tau Angle Promoted in Development of Bapineuzumab

Tau Angle Promoted in Development of Bapineuzumab


If you’re looking for a break from the FDA’s much-covered review of Avandia,* try the refreshing In Vivo Blog. The latest from the armchair bloggers (talk about redundant phrasing, and heh, takes one to know one) is their follow-up of biomarker data from JNJ and Pfizer on bapineuzumab, the anti-amyloid mAb in phase 3 development for Alzheimer disease.

Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease 2010 in Honolulu (Altoona wasn’t available?), the biomarker data don’t concern a reduction of amyloid with bapineuzumab treatment. Instead the data (and they’re phase 2 clinical data) show a drop in CSF levels of P-tau, at least when they’re pooled.

The examination of P-tau, as a “downstream” biomarker, may be scientifically valid in studies of anti-amyloid therapies. P-tau is certainly an important marker of AD pathology generally, and investigators seem to be more enthusiastic about direct, anti-tau therapies than anti-amyloid therapies. But the tau angle is also commercially savvy. It’s a way of bolstering interest in the continued investigation of the leading anti-amyloid drug, which has provided underwhelming clinical results to date.

* provides the most detailed description of yesterday’s contentious agency meeting, IMO–just short of live blogging it.

Photograph: Atrophied brain from person with AD from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

CSF = cerebrospinal fluid; mAb = monoclonal antibody.

bmartin (1127 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.