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Biotechnology company acquires license for Alzheimer’s disease vaccine

A company has acquired a DNA vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease that is designed to trigger an immune response to the disease.

The vaccine, in preclinical development, differs from other Alzheimer’s vaccines under study in that it only contains a piece of the coding for the amyloid beta protein, a company statement said. Amyloid beta in the brain is believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. With the vaccine, the antibodies bind onto and reduce amyloid beta.

Nuron Biotech in Exton, Pennsylvania licensed the vaccine from Texas biotechnology company Vitruvian BioMedical. Under the terms of the exclusive worldwide license, Nuron will be responsible for development and commercialization. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company is expected to advance the vaccine to the clinical stage next year.

The move comes as the latest expansion of its vaccine portfolio. Last month, it acquired the license for technology and product rights for a hepatitis B virus vaccine in the preclinical phase of development called Chimigen from Akshaya Bio.

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Vaccines have been viewed as having potential to effectively combat Alzheimer’s disease and are being developed by companies such as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, in collaboration with Elan Corp. and Pfizer; GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK); and in a collaboration between Pfizer and  Johnson & Johnson, among others.

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.4 million people.

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