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GEN News Highlights : Dec 23, 2011

BMS and Gladstone Partner to Identify Alzheimer Disease Targets

Firm will fund Gladstone Institute research to identify targets for preventing Tau dysfunction.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and the Gladstone Institutes established a collaboration focused on the discovery and validation of Alzheimer disease targets. BMS will fund research by Gladstone scientists to identify targets that affect the dysfunction of Tau, a cytoskeleton-binding protein that in Alzheimer disease forms the characteristic neurofibrillary tangles.

“By leveraging the cutting edge expertise of the Gladstone Institutes in Alzheimer disease, we are hoping that the scientific innovation in drug development that often happens at the crossroads of different disciplines will lead to a better understanding of the role of Tau in Alzheimer disease and, potentially, lead to the identification of new therapies,” comments Francis Cuss, M.D., svp for discovery at BMS.

Earlier this year BMS reported positive data from a Phase II trial evaluating its oral gamma secretase inhibitor BMS-708163 in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease. In September the firm reported details of an expanded agreement with Saladex Biomedical and Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, focused on developing and commercializing diagnostic assays for the early detection of Alzheimer disease.