An estimated 30 million patients worldwide have some form of Alzheimer’s disease, with $148 billion in annual health care costs in the U.S.
There is strong data supporting the ‘amyloid hypothesis’ - that formation of amyloid-beta (Aß) plaques through enzymatic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) causes Alzheimer’s disease. There are mutations in human APP that increase Aß levels and are linked to higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and a recently discovered mutation that prevents APP processing and provides protection against developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitae Pharmaceuticals’ Alzheimer’s program is focused on decreasing production of Aß by inhibiting beta-secretase (BACE), a key enzyme in the cleavage of APP.
- One year after starting full-scale research efforts, Vitae discovered multiple compounds that demonstrated in vivo proof-of-principle, including good bioavailability, tissue distribution and amyloid-beta lowering in the brain upon a single oral dose.
- Within 18 months of starting full-scale research efforts, Vitae partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim, generating $42 million in upfront and research funding and the opportunity to earn > $200 million in additional milestones.
Vitae Pharmaceuticals’ BACE inhibitor may be one of the first disease-modifying products in its class to reach the market.