03 December 2012

MK-8931, BACE1 inhibitor, enters Phase 2/3 for Alzehimer’s

Perhaps no other single target so successfully demonstrates the potential of fragment-based approaches as BACE1, a challenging aspartyl protease implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease. Practical Fragments has previously written about efforts from Merck, Lilly, Pfizer, Evotec, and Amgen (there’s also the Astex-AstraZeneca collaboration).

Today Merck announced that their MK-8931 has entered a Phase 2/3 clinical trial, a randomized placebo-controlled study which will run for 78 weeks and enroll up to 1700 patients in the phase 3 portion.

There have been concerns lately as to whether or not BACE1 is a viable target for Alzheimers; it will take large studies like this to answer that question. Practical Fragments wishes them luck.


dailyrx said...

According to what I read here: http://www.rxwiki.com/mk-8931 as well as what you're saying, it sounds like targeting proteins is the wave of the future. Keep up the great reporting!

Chris said...

Probably the last throw of the dice for BACE?

@BioDueDiligence said...

Glad to have stumbled upon your blog, even though the technical discussion is over my head. I follow mk-8931 and the Astex fragment discovery programs closely on my BiotechDueDiligence website so I am always glad to have another source. It is interesting to note that this program dates back to a screening deal between SGP and Pharmacopeia PCOP, which was later bought by Ligand Pharma LGND, who now stands to receives royalties on MK-8931