Matthew E. Barton, PhD, UCB Biosciences Inc, Slough, UK, introduces investigations into bepranemab as a potential treatment for AD in the TOGETHER study (NCT04867616). Bepranemab is a humanized anti-tau monoclonal antibody, that targets a central tau epitope proximal to the microtubule binding domain, which is an area essential for tau accumulation. Pre-clinical work shows that bepranemab has the potential to prevent the induction of tau pathology and block its spread through the brain by binding to extracellular tau aggregates. Research suggests that the clinical effects of AD are correlated with tau load and thus, there will be better patient outcomes if pathology is tackled sooner. Bepranemab has been tested in two healthy volunteer trials, including Caucasian and Japanese participants, and the results show that the drug is safe and well tolerated. The proof-of-concept TOGETHER trial is a global, multicenter, double-blind study investigating the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of IV administered bepranemab against placebo in the early AD population (NIA-AA Stage 3-4). The population split is approximately 40% prodromal and 60% mild AD patients. The trial has been ongoing since June 2021 and 172 participants have been randomized. Dr Barton hopes that targeting extracellular tau will prevent downstream tau seeding and that this will have an impact on clinical manifestations of AD. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.
Matthew Barton is a full time employee of UCB Biosciences.