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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Oct. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AC Immune SA (ACIU), a Swiss-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a broad pipeline focused on neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it will host a key opinion leader (KOL) meeting focused on pathological Tau protein as a therapeutic target and diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The event will take place in New York City on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, are associated with the presence of defective Tau protein in the brain. Imaging studies show that Tau pathology correlates strongly with the rate of cognitive decline, making Tau an important therapeutic target, as well as a promising biomarker for earlier diagnosis and tracking disease progression. Therefore, targeting Tau pathology is a key element of AC Immune’s Roadmap to Successful Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases. The Company’s unique approach targets the full spectrum of Tau pathology by detecting and inhibiting both early seeding and extracellular spreading of Tau with its best-in-class small molecules, antibodies and vaccines, as well as its cutting-edge Tau diagnostic agents. The event will include presentations from leading KOLs as well as a discussion of key preclinical and clinical data from AC Immune’s therapeutic development programs and an outline of key programs expected to enter late-stage development in the next two years.
Company and KOL presentations will be followed by an interactive roundtable discussion between the audience, Dr. Keith Johnson, Massachusetts General Hospital, Professor Andrea Pfeifer, Ph.D., CEO, and Marie Kosco-Vilbois, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of AC Immune SA and Dr. Andrew Stephens Chief Medical Officer of Life Molecular Imaging. The event will be webcast live and archived on the Investor Page of AC Immune's website, ir.acimmune.com.
Key Opinion Leader Biographies
Keith Johnson, M.D.
Dr. Keith Johnson is a Professor of Radiology and Neurology at the Harvard Medical School. He is also Associate Radiologist and Director of Molecular Neuroimaging in the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (Department of Radiology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Johnson serves as an associate physician and staff neurologist in the Memory Disorders Unit at the Brigham and Women's Hospital as well as a Clinical Associate in Neurology at the MGH.
Dr. Johnson has extensive experience in imaging research in neurodegenerative diseases, is a Principal Investigator of the Harvard Aging Brain Study, and oversees the brain PET imaging program at MGH, which includes active research programs in imaging of amyloid-beta and PHF Tau, as well as Lewy body diseases and 4R Tauopathies. Dr. Johnson leads the PET component of the A4 Study, as well as several other AD clinical trials. He leads the PET Unit of the Alzheimer Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC).
Dr. Johnson is a practicing Neurologist in Behavioral Neurology, Associate Physician in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Neurologist in the Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Andrew Stephens, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Stephens is a founder and the Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development for Life Molecular Imaging, GmbH. He has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, primarily in the areas of translational medicine, and diagnostic imaging of neurodegenerative, oncological and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Stephens was responsible for regulatory approval and market authorization of Neuraceq (18F-florbetaben) in US, EU, South Korea, and Japan.
Before joining the current company, he was VP, Head Experimental Medicine Oncology/Diagnostic Imaging for Bayer Pharma. Dr. Stephens received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in biochemistry, biophysics and genetics from the University of Colorado. He was Board certified in Internal Medicine and had a clinical practice before entering pharmaceutical development. He began his pharmaceutical industry career investigating RNA aptamers at NeXagen/NeXstar, and Gilead Sciences. As Senior Director of Translational Medicine at OSI Pharmaceuticals he was responsible for early clinical studies of several anti-cancer oral signal transduction inhibitors. He is an author of more than 150 original articles, abstracts and patents.
About AC Immune SA
AC Immune SA is a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, which aims to become a global leader in precision medicine for neurodegenerative diseases. The Company is utilizing two proprietary discovery platforms, SupraAntigen™ and Morphomer™, to design, discover and develop small molecule and biological therapeutics as well as diagnostic products intended to diagnose, prevent and modify neurodegenerative diseases caused by misfolding proteins. The Company's pipeline features nine therapeutic and three diagnostic product candidates, with five currently in clinical trials. It has collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies including Roche/Genentech, Eli Lilly and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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Forward looking statements
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or AC Immune’s strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “projects,” “potential,” “outlook” or “continue,” and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include those described under the captions “Item 3. Key Information – Risk Factors” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” in AC Immune’s Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and AC Immune does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.