Tau

Genting Management, a subsidiary of Genting Berhad, has invested $31.5m in Singapore-based TauRx Pharmaceuticals, as the first tranche of a $111.8m investment in the pharmaceutical company in return for a 20% equity stake.

The remaining $80.3m investment from Genting is expected to be received by TauRx by the end of 2012.

The investment will support TauRx’s development of dementia treatments based on a Tau-based approach to disease-modifying and preventive treatment of Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

TauRx executive chairman and co-founder Professor Claude Wischik said Genting’s investment brings the total equity raised by TauRx to almost $300m since the company was formed in 2002.

"This investment by GMS affirms Genting’s confidence in TauRx and will be directed to the conduct of our pivotal global phase 3 clinical trials in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease with LMTX™, TauRx’s Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI)," Wischik said.

"This investment by GMS affirms Genting’s confidence in TauRx and will be directed to the conduct of our pivotal global phase 3 clinical trials in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease with LMTX™, TauRx’s Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI)."

TauRx’s LMTX treatment is the first TAI to reach late stage clinical trials; the phase 2 trial of the drug, involving around 300 patients, demonstrated a 90% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease progression over two years.

The first study in the LMTX global phase 3 trial will involve 833 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s over 12 months, and the second study will enroll 500 people with mild Alzheimer’s disease over 18 months.

A third, smaller, study will examine the benefits of LMTX for 180 patients with FTD over 12 months.

The studies, to be carried out in parallel under the phase 3 trial, will take place at sites in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, the US and the UK.

"These phase 3 studies, which have already started enrolling in the US, are aimed at confirming the disease-modifying effects seen in the phase 2 trial in mild to moderate patients," said Wischik.

"These landmark studies could provide the first definitive data on a Tau-based approach to disease-modifying and preventive treatment of Alzheimer’s and FTD, with no Tau-based alternatives generating such data for at least the next 5-7 years," he added.


Image: TauRx’s dementia treatments focus on a Tau-based approach to disease-modifying and preventive treatment of Alzheimer’s and FTD.