AC Immune's shares surge on early data from Alzheimer's vaccine

Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S.-listed shares of AC Immune SA more than doubled on Thursday after the Swiss drug developer said its experimental vaccine triggered an antibody response against a key protein thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

The company’s vaccine, ACI-35.030, produced antibodies against the tau protein, which forms twisted fibres and tangles inside the brain, in all 32 patients with early Alzheimer’s disease in an early- to mid-stage trial.

Alzheimer’s drugs have a history of failing in late-stage studies, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now reviewing experimental treatment aducanumab from Biogen , marking the first Alzheimer’s drug application in more than a decade to be reviewed by the agency.

Last year, Roche and AC Immune’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug failed in the mid-stage trial. In 2017, Merck halted a late-stage trial of an Alzheimer’s drug after it was determined that it had no chance of working.

Results from the vaccine’s study support plans to move it further to mid- to late-stage trials, said AC Immune, which is developing the vaccine in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson .

Shares of the Swiss company surged 170% to $20 premarket and were on track to open at a record high. (Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)