Roche doubles down on Tau


Targeting beta-amyloid looks unlikely to go away as an Alzheimer’s approach any time soon, but other mechanisms are being pursued too. As Evaluate Vantage has pointed out, one of the most popular now is blocking tau, and one of the most prominent players here, Roche, just doubled down on the approach. The Swiss firm has put $120m towards UCB’s anti-tau MAb UCB0107, which so far has been studied only in volunteers and in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Roche has a separate anti-tau MAb deal with AC Immune for semorinemab, whose phase II readout in 460 prodromal to mild subjects is one of the most important of this year in Alzheimer’s. Still, Roche remains on the sidelines with UCB0107, and it will be down to UCB to run and fund a proof-of-concept Alzheimer’s trial; only then will the Swiss firm decide whether to opt in. And for good reason: doubts remain about the utility of targeting tau, and the semorinemab trial at least needs to demonstrate reduction of the brain’s tau burden. Abbvie and Biogen’s anti-tau MAbs, ABBV-8E12 and gosuranemab respectively, continue in Alzheimer’s after failing in PSP.

Clinical projects against tau
Project Company Note on clinical development
Phase II
Semorinemab Roche/AC Immune Tauriel study in prodromal/mild AD reads out 2020
Zagotenemab Lilly Study in early symptomatic AD reads out 2021
Gosuranemab Biogen/BMS Failed in PSP; Tango study in early AD reads out 2021
ABBV-8E12 Abbvie Failed in PSP; study in early AD reads out 2021
Phase I
BIIB076 Eisai/Biogen Volunteer & AD study completed; no data yet
UCB0107 UCB/Roche PSP only; AD deal signed Jul 2020
E2814 Eisai Volunteer study ongoing
Note: PSP=patients with progressive supranuclear palsy; AD=Alzheimer's disease. Source: & EvaluatePharma.

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