The FINANCIAL — This month has seen another major step forward in Nestlé’s commitment to brain research and the battle against Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences SA (NIHS), a fundamental research institute of the global nutrition, health and wellness company Nestlé, has signed a research collaboration agreement with AC Immune SA – a leading Lausanne-based biopharmaceutical company focused on neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the collaboration is to develop a sensitive, minimally invasive Tau diagnostic assay for early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by applying Nestlé’s proprietary multiplexed ultrasensitive antibody technology platform.
Tangles of Tau proteins are recognised as one of two major hallmarks of neurodegeneration, the other being beta-amyloid (Abeta) plaques. Tangles and other abnormal forms of Tau protein accumulate inside the brain cells and spread between cells of people with Alzheimer’s disease over a long period of time. It is now well established that Tau correlates well with cognitive decline and disease progression. Furthermore, Tau may develop into a suitable biomarker for early diagnosis of the disease, according to Nestlé.
“This collaboration agreement opens up exciting new possibilities in the quest to better understand and combat this debilitating disease”, comments Ed Baetge, Head of NIHS. “By bringing together our ultrasensitive next-generation diagnostic platform and AC Immune’s expertise in the field, we hope to develop a minimally invasive Tau diagnostic using patients’ blood which can identify Alzheimer’s patients at a very early, and potentially pre-symptomatic, stage of the disease.”
Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune, commented: “The development of a minimally invasive diagnostic test to identify patients at very early stages is considered as one of the most pressing needs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease”.
Ed Baetge added: “Our overarching goal at NIHS is to develop nutritional approaches and technologies that help people maintain or improve their cognitive vigour especially for early diagnosis and targeted intervention to combat this global health problem”.