Monday, June 15, 2009
German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim and Vitae Pharmaceuticals say they are partnering to develop enzyme-inhibiting drugs with the potential to slow or even halt progression of Alzheimer's disease.
The deal could be worth roughly $250 million to Vitae, a small, development-stage pharmaceutical company based in Fort Washington, Pa.
The two companies will work together to develop drugs that block an enzyme called beta secretase, or BACE, involved in producing the amyloid-beta plaques that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Amyloid-beta peptide is a major part of those plaques, and is thought to be the key culprit in the development of Alzheimer's, a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive memory loss.