Alector, Inc. (ALEC - Free Report) announced the initiation of the phase I INTERCEPT study on AL003 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose escalation study will investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and immunogenicity of AL003 in healthy volunteers and patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
AL003 is the company's second product candidate being developed for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease in collaboration with AbbVie (ABBV - Free Report) . In November, Alector initiated a phase I INVOKE study to evaluate AL002 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alector is focused on identifying and functionally repairing genetic mutations that cause dysfunction of the brain immune system, leading to neurodegeneration. AL003 targets SIGLEC 3, which is an inhibitory receptor expressed primarily on cells of myeloid lineage, including microglia, which constitute the brain’s immune system.
Shares of the company were up almost 7% on the announcement of the news. Alector’s stock price has increased 18.2% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 6.6%.
Alzheimer’s is a fatal illness that causes progressive decline in memory. It has always been a highly challenging area, with not much progress being made in spite of significant investments (both funds and resources) by drug companies.
Companies continue to invest heavily in developing Alzheimer’s disease treatments. The market has immense commercial potential, and companies coming up with new treatments could rake in billions of dollars.
In January 2019, Biogen inked two strategic collaborations one each with C4 Therapeutics and Skyhawk Therapeutics to develop potential therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other devastating neurological diseases.
In December 2018, Eli Lilly & Company (LLY - Free Report) signed a collaboration agreement with Swiss biotech AC Immune SA (ACIU - Free Report) to jointly develop tau aggregation inhibitors, which have the potential to treat Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Lilly has had its share of failures in Alzheimer's disease.
Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider
Alector currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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