Voyager Therapeutics hasn’t yet disclosed which anti-amyloid antibody it’s vectorizing, only telling analysts that it’s been exploring “several options.” (Dr_Microbe/ Getty images)

Voyager Therapeutics is tripling down on its Alzheimer’s disease franchise, this time with a gene therapy aimed at amyloid-beta plaques.

Both presence of the same APOE4 gene variant that predisposes people to Alzheimer’s and the size of the initial dose have been linked to the development of ARIA. There is “biologic rationale” to suggest that gene therapy wouldn’t confer the same degree of risk, Voyager Chief Scientific Officer Todd Carter, Ph.D., said on the earnings call.

“In a gene therapy approach, the anti-amyloid antibodies are steadily secreted by cells in the central nervous system, and thus we’d be avoiding high antibody concentrations that necessarily follow intravenous antibody infusions,” he said. “Moreover, the antibody would first engage the beta amyloid deposited in and around beta amyloid plaques rather than around blood vessels, thus avoiding ARIA.”

Still, some risk does remain, Sandrock acknowledged on the call. The company is considering several mitigation strategies to handle ARIA if it does arise, including the use of a small molecule to control gene expression.

Voyager hasn’t yet disclosed which anti-amyloid antibody it’s vectorizing, instead telling an analyst on the call that the company has been exploring “several options.”


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