Pharmaceutical companies hoping to effectively compete in the tauopathies space, which is yet to see its first drug hit the market, are adopting a broad range of strategies including entering into licensing agreements and partnerships for the co-development of products, and pursuing multiple indications and drug candidates, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that, given the vast range of unmet needs in neurodegenerative diseases in general, pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs simultaneously in multiple indications, meaning that the same mechanism of action (MOA) can be applied in different indications with little need for additional research efforts and costs. Examples of this include AbbVie/C2N Diagnostics’ ABBV-8E12, TauRX Therapeutics’ TRx-237, and Cortice Biosciences’ TPI-287.
Manufacturers are particularly pursuing Alzheimer’s disease and tauopathies concomitantly. Since tauopathies share more common disease pathways with Alzheimer’s disease, progress and insight gained in researching the disease can be directly applied to tauopathies drug development, and vice versa.
In addition to targeting multiple indications, another ongoing trend is pursuing multiple compounds in an effort to build a strong portfolio of drugs. For example, Neurimmune Holding is carrying out preclinical studies in BIIB076, NI205, and NI-308, all of which are antibody therapies currently in preclinical stages of development. This is a good way of balancing pipeline risk and increasing the chances of delivering clinical drug candidates that can modulate the target pathway.
A very common strategy in the tauopathies market is that companies are entering into licensing partnerships for the co-development of products. Examples include Anavir/Otsuka’s AVP-796, Sellas Life Sciences Group/Catalent’s zolpidem, AbbVie/C2N Diagnostics’ ABBV-8E12, and Merck & Co./Alectos Therapeutics’ MK-8719. This strategy enables companies to join efforts and resources, and share the costs and risks of R&D.
The discovery stages of potential tauopathy treatments are commonly conducted by small specialist biotechnology companies, while the later stages of development are carried out by larger and more established companies. For smaller companies, the main advantages of entering in-licensing agreements with larger companies include access to resources for larger trials and teams with capabilities to market and bring the product through the regulatory process.