Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive memory loss associated with the deposition of neuritic plaques in the brains of patients. The amyloid-beta peptide is the major component of such plaques and is considered to be the major culprit in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid-beta is generated from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by proteolytic processing by beta and gamma secretases. Since beta-secretase (beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1, or BACE1) cleavage is rate limiting for the production of amyloid-beta, inhibition of this enzyme represents an attractive strategy to ameliorate amyloid-beta plaque deposition in Alzheimerâs disease. Supporting this notion are studies demonstrating that deletion of the BACE1 gene in mice prevents the formation of amyloid-beta in cultured neurons and the brain. In addition, it has been shown that amyloid-beta-associated memory deficits, which occur in mutant mice overexpressing APP, are prevented when the BACE1 gene is deleted. Thus in patients, it is anticipated that inhibitors blocking BACE1 could prevent the build up of amyloid-beta plaques and help slow or stop the progression of disease. About Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in adults. It is estimated to affect 4.5 million American's and over 30 million people worldwide with an average course of 8-12 years. It is projected that the prevalence of AD will double over the next 20 years. Marketed treatments address some symptoms, however there are no treatments available that delay or halt the progression of the disease. Global sales of Alzheimer's drugs were approximately $5 billion in 2008 and are expected to exceed $14 billion by 2015. Vitae Pharmaceuticals
Vitae Pharmaceuticals is an emerging pharmaceutical company building a clinical stage pipeline of novel drug candidates in important therapeutic categories, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimerâs disease. Vitae discovers and develops solutions to biologically validated but hard-to-drug targets by fully integrating its proprietary structure-based drug design platform - delivering unprecedented accuracy, speed and novelty - with the targeted efforts of highly experienced and successful discovery scientists. Vitae Pharmaceuticals is financed by leading corporate and venture capital investors, completing its last venture round in 2004. Vitaeâs forty scientists are located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 138 affiliates in 47 countries and 41,300 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 11.6 billion euros while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.