LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Sept. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AC Immune SA (NASDAQ: ACIU), a Swiss-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a broad pipeline focused on neurodegenerative diseases, today announced The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has awarded a new grant for the Company’s pioneering alpha-synuclein (a-syn) positron-emission tomography (PET) tracer program.

Over the last four years, AC Immune has received continuous grant support from MJFF to accelerate development of a-syn PET tracers. If successful, AC Immune’s program could deliver the world’s first imaging agent capable of accurately detecting and monitoring progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). An effective a-syn tracer would also enable and accelerate the development of novel PD therapies as a powerful tool for measuring the effect of novel drugs on a-syn pathology in the brain.

Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune SA, commented: “We are very proud to be working together with MJFF on our a-syn PET tracer program, which offers patients the potential for earlier diagnosis of PD and facilitates the development of therapeutic intervention strategies. AC Immune’s precision medicine approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases focuses on the creation of imaging agents capable of earlier detection and disease monitoring, as well as the development of a broad pipeline of effective therapeutic candidates focused on the prevention and treatment of these debilitating conditions.”

The program has generated multiple compounds that bind with high-affinity and selectivity to human PD brain-derived, pathological a-syn in preclinical studies. A lead a-syn PET tracer candidate entered clinical trials earlier this year — also with MJFF funding — focused on imaging of pathological a-syn in PD and other synucleinopathies. AC Immune’s a-syn PET tracers are derived from the Company’s proprietary small molecule MorphomerTM discovery platform. The Company is also advancing the development of oral small molecule a-syn inhibitors and SupraAntigenTM-derived anti-a-syn antibodies as novel therapeutic candidates targeting PD and a-syn-related NeuroOrphan diseases.

Dr. Jan Stöhr, Head of Non-Alzheimer’s Disease Proteinopathies at AC Immune, will give an oral presentation related to the development of the Company’s a-syn PET tracer at MJFF’s 13th Annual Parkinson’s Disease Therapeutics Conference on October 15th in New York City.

About AC Immune
AC Immune SA is a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, which aims to become a global leader in Precision Medicine for neurodegenerative diseases. The Company is utilizing two proprietary discovery platforms, SupraAntigenTM and MorphomerTM, to design, discover and develop small molecule and biological therapeutics as well as diagnostic products intended to diagnose, prevent and modify neurodegenerative diseases caused by misfolded proteins. The Company's pipeline features nine therapeutic and three diagnostic product candidates, with five currently in clinical trials. It has collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies including Roche/Genentech, Eli Lilly and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.

As a strategic leader in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, AC Immune has developed a five point Roadmap to Successful Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases that recognizes the importance of treating earlier, targeting Tau, focusing on more homogeneous populations, precision medicine and exploring neuroinflammation as a target.

For further information, please contact:

U.S. Investors
Joshua Drumm, Ph.D.
AC Immune Investor Relations
Phone: +1 646 876 5538
E-mail: joshua.drumm@acimmune.com
U.S. Media
Katie Gallagher
LaVoieHealthScience
Phone: +1 617 792 3937
E-mail: kgallagher@lavoiehealthscience.com

European Media
Judith Moore
AC Immune Global Communication Lead
Phone: +44 7932 053829
Email: judith.moore@acimmune.com

European Investors
Chris Maggos
LifeSci Advisors
Phone: +41 79 367 6254 
E-mail: chris@lifesciadvisors.com

Forward looking statements
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