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Prothena (PRTA) Riding High on Alzheimer's Disease Pipeline

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It has been an outstanding year so far for Prothena Corporation plc PRTA, a clinical-stage company focused on the development of novel therapeutic therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

The company’s wholly-owned programs include birtamimab for the potential treatment of AL amyloidosis and a portfolio of programs for the potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) including PRX012, which targets Aβ (Amyloid beta) and a novel dual Aβ-Tau vaccine.

The FDA approval of Biogen’s BIIB AD drug, Aduhelm, in June 2021 has put the spotlight on companies having promising AD candidates in their pipeline and Prothena is one of the frontrunners.

PRX012 is a high-affinity monoclonal antibody targeting a key epitope within the N-terminus of Aβ. The company is developing PRX012 as a next-generation, high potency, anti-abeta antibody with best-in-class potential. Monoclonal antibodies targeting key epitopes within the N-terminus of Aβ have demonstrated that reducing amyloid plaque burden is associated with the slowing of clinical decline in AD.

Another promising candidate is PRX005, which is also being evaluated for the treatment of AD. The candidate is being developed as part of the global neuroscience research and development collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb BMY.  The candidate is an investigational antibody that targets tau, a protein implicated in diseases including AD.  Bristol Myers recently exercised its option under the collaboration and entered into an exclusive U.S. license for PRX005.

Prothena is developing a dual vaccine, which concomitantly targets key epitopes within both the Aβ and tau proteins. The dual Aβ-Tau vaccine is being developed for the potential prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

The approval of Biogen’s AD drug has raised hopes for these candidates as well. While the candidates hold promise, given their mechanism of action, they still have a long way to go and are a few years away from approval.

This apart, the company is also developing prasinezumab, a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, in collaboration with Roche RHHBY and earned a $60 million clinical milestone payment upon dosing of the first patient in the global phase IIb PADOVA study.

The successful development and commercialization of the candidates will be a big boost for the company and should propel growth.


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