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Effectorless efficacy

How Genentech is making mAbs safer for CNS diseases

By Selina Koch, Staff Writer

In a finding that might solve the problem of dose-limiting side effects for using antibodies in CNS disorders, a Genentech-led team has engineered an anti-tau antibody for Alzheimer's disease that binds its target in the brain without eliciting an immune response. While the new strategy, aimed at preventing microglial activation, could apply broadly to CNS diseases, its greatest utility will likely be for conditions where neuroinflammation is already present, such as AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The study, published today in Cell Reports, was the result of a collaboration between a group led by Gai Ayalon, a scientist at the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche, and AC Immune S.A., and described an antibody engineered to bind tau without triggering activation of microglial cells.

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