For years Alzheimer's disease was believed to be caused by the toxic buildup of the amyloid beta protein. Most of the therapeutic methods under development have aimed to cut amyloid levels in order to prevent or delay onset of the disease. To date, all completed Phase III drug development programs based on the amyloid hypothesis have failed to meet their clinical endpoints. Oligomerix's work focuses on an alternate hypothesis that is rapidly advancing in the scientific community: that the accumulation of the tau protein, specifically tau oligomerization, is highly correlated with Alzheimer's disease progression and therefore an appropriate target for the development of disease-modifying therapeutics.
Oligomerix will test this hypothesis using Taconic's tau mouse model that carries the transgene for the human mutation of the microtubule-associated protein - tau. The Taconic tau model has been well-characterized for behavioral and motor disturbances related to the development of neurofibrillary tangles that are pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Oligomerix will employ Taconic's model to develop assays to detect tau oligomers and evaluate the model's utility in preclinical testing using reference compounds already screened in cell assays.
"Taconic is pleased to collaborate with Oligomerix on its groundbreaking research aimed at improving the scientific community's understanding of Alzheimer's disease pathology," said Todd Little, President and CEO, Taconic. "The tau model is a prime example of Taconic's unrivaled ability to make transgenic models available that support researchers' efforts to find cures to some of today's most troubling diseases."
James Moe, PhD, MBA, President and CEO of Oligomerix, comments on the importance of the collaboration with Taconic: "We are pleased to collaborate with Taconic using our proprietary assays and antibodies to characterize the tau transgenic model for the accumulation of the tau oligomer target during aging. We will apply our small molecule tool compounds to validate target engagement and mode of action in vivo, which is an important milestone for our tau oligomer formation inhibitor program. As we continue pursuit of discovery and development of novel therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies, we are also interested in the future use of this model to enable Oligomerix to carry out its downstream lead candidate in vivo screening, optimization, and selection of candidates for IND enabling studies."
Through its collaboration with Oligomerix, Taconic will provide the tau model for the company's studies and in turn receive valuable data about the model and its utility. The data generated as part of this collaboration will be shared with the scientific community and is expected to function as a useful platform for developing tau targeted therapies for Alzheimer's disease.
Oligomerix, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors, immunotherapeutic approaches, and biomarkers targeting tau oligomers. The Company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered at Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park in New York City and is carrying out its in vivo studies at New York Medical College Valhalla, New York. The Company is seeking strategic partners to help accelerate these exciting programs. For more information, visit www.oligomerix.com.
Taconic is a global provider of genetically engineered mouse and rat models and services. As a full-service industry leader, founded in 1952, Taconic helps clients acquire, custom generate, breed, test, prepare, and distribute highly relevant research lines worldwide. Headquartered in New York's Hudson River Valley, Taconic operates six breeding facilities and three service laboratories in the U.S. and Europe. The company employs over 850 employees committed to technological innovation. Taconic's products and services are used by over 1,300 companies and academic research institutions in nearly 50 nations worldwide.