Healthcare Industry News:  Alzheimer's 

Biopharmaceuticals Licensing

 News Release - November 27, 2006

Acumen Pharmaceuticals Announces Amended Agreement with Merck to Include Exclusive Diagnostic Rights

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Acumen Pharmaceuticals, a leading pre-clinical biotech company working in Alzheimer's therapeutics, today announced that it has amended its existing license agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. to grant an exclusive license to research and develop amyloid-derived diffusible ligand (ADDL) directed diagnostic products.

The two companies signed a license agreement in 2004 to research and develop disease-modifying therapeutic drugs for Alzheimer's disease and other memory-related disorders utilizing Acumen's ADDL technology. Under the terms of that original agreement, Merck obtained an exclusive license to research and develop monoclonal antibody products, an option to develop vaccine products, and the non-exclusive rights to develop diagnostic products. The amendment to the agreement grants Merck exclusive rights to develop and commercialize diagnostic products directed to ADDLs. All other rights to antibody products and the option to develop a vaccine remain unchanged.

Acumen will continue to collaborate with academics and other pharmaceutical companies to independently develop small molecule therapeutics.

ADDLs are small protein assemblies that are widely believed to be the cause of Alzheimer's disease. They bind to synapses and initiate aberrant signaling, destroying the brain's capability to store and retrieve information. In collaboration with Merck, Acumen is developing an ADDL antibody program designed to prevent ADDLs from causing brain damage.

"There is strong synergy between Acumen's discovery capabilities and ADDL-related know-how, and Merck's discovery and development capabilities," said David Summa, President and CEO of Acumen. "We look forward to continuing to work together to develop and commercialize ADDL diagnostics."

"We are pleased to execute this amendment with Acumen," said Mervyn Turner, Ph.D. senior vice president, Worldwide Licensing and External Research at Merck. "We have had a highly productive collaboration to date and look forward to continuing our work with Acumen in the field of Alzheimer's Disease".

About Acumen

Acumen Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( is a venture-backed, pre-clinical biotech company focused on developing the first effective therapeutics and diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease and other memory-related disorders. Founded in 1996, Acumen owns or has licensed certain important patents underlying the ADDL mechanism now widely believed to cause Alzheimer's disease. In addition to ELISA-based diagnostic, Acumen has several therapeutic approaches to stop ADDL-related diseases. NeuroVentures LLC has made a seed investment in the company.

Source: Acumen Pharmaceuticals

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