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Unique Alzheimer’s Disease Tau Vaccine Shows Great Potential in Pre-Clinical Studies

MultiTEP Platform-Based Epitope Vaccine Targeting the Phosphatase Activating Domain (PAD) of Tau Shows Clear Therapeutic Efficacy in PS19 Mice

Capo Therapeutics, Inc. announces that researchers at The Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM), along with collaborators at the University of California at Irvine, have created a vaccine, termed AV-1980R/A, that targets the pathological Tau protein – the one associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) – but not the normal Tau protein. This preventive vaccine generates very high titers of antibodies, reduces Tau aggregate from the brains of mice bred to have tauopathy, and improves behavioral and motor defects in a mouse model of AD.

AD is the most common cause of dementia. Immunotherapeutic strategies targeting two proteins, β-amyloid (Aβ) and Tau, are being tested in clinical trials. Data from many scientists have suggested that Tau pathology correlates very well with the degree of dementia in AD. Thus, the development of a safe and effective preventive immunotherapy targeting pathological Tau may be central to treating AD.

Dr. Armine Hovakimyan, Associate Professor at IMM and the lead author said, “For a vaccine to be effective, it has to induce therapeutically potent levels of antibodies which our anti-Tau vaccine achieved. Importantly, MultiTEP platform-based vaccines do not induce potentially harmful autoreactive T helper cell responses while still generating antibodies that bind strongly to pathological forms of Tau in human brain tissue from AD cases.”

Dr. Anahit Ghochikyan, Associate Professor at IMM and one of the lead authors of this study added, “Our transgenic mice data suggest that vaccination with AV-1980R/A may prevent/slow aggregation of Tau and delay manifestation of AD. No other pre-clinical studies have achieved such levels of effective antibody titers.” 

The vaccine is currently being commercialized by Capo Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Harry Lander, CEO of Capo Therapeutics said, “The MultiTEP technology is a third-generation platform technology that generates very high levels of antibodies; the antibodies are specific to the antigen of interest and there are none detectable to the carrier, does not activate harmful auto-reactive T cells and activates memory T cells. We believe that there is no other active vaccine platform that can achieve these four key elements and are excited about future clinical trials.”