The share price of AC Immune (NASDAQ:ACIU) surged more than 50% in early market trading on Thursday morning. Volume in ACIU stock at the open was 30 times the average daily level.
The move follows two positive announcements this week by the Swiss biopharma.
On Thursday, the firm announced positive interim results from its ongoing Phase 1b/2a clinical trial evaluating its first-in-class anti-phospho-Tau (pTau) vaccine candidate ACI-35.030 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This vaccine would be a novel strategy for the treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases characterized by Tau pathology.
Results from the study support plans to move it further to mid- to late-stage trials, which is developing the vaccine in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Reuters reported.
Earlier this week, the clinical-stage developer announced that the first patient has been scanned in a first-in-human study of its novel diagnostic agent for Parkinson’s disease (PD).
ACIU Stock Pursuing Alzheimer’s Alternative
Some drug developers, such as Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), believe a buildup of amyloid plaque is the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Others, including ACIU, have hypothesized it’s actually a buildup of a so-called Tau protein behind the cognitive dysfunction generally diagnosed as Alzheimer’s.
Tau, like beta amyloid, is naturally found in the brain. Its role is to maintain nerve cells’ conduits that allow for the delivery of “food” and other proteins needed to maintain that cell. However, tau can become tangled, essentially closing off that conduit, leading to that cell’s death. Some researchers further believe the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) spurs this tangling, and are developing an inhibitor to stave off its effects.
On the date of publication, Robert Lakin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin is a veteran financial writer and editor, following fintech, agtech and property tech startups.