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.
* heartwire.org 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.