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Alector (ALEC) Turning Heads

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Alector Inc. (ALEC), which made its debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on February 7, 2019, at an opening price of $18.70, touched a new high of $31 in intraday trading on Tuesday, before closing at $30.18.

Alector is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

The company has four products in clinical development - AL001, AL002, AL003, and AL101.

-- AL001: under a phase II study in frontotemporal dementia patients with a granulin or C9orf72 mutation is underway.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a form of dementia found most frequently in individuals less than 65 years old at the time of diagnosis. FTD affects roughly 50,000 to 60,000 individuals in the United States and roughly 110,000 individuals in the European Union. FTD is a rapidly progressing degenerative syndrome characterized by prominent cognitive dysfunction, behavioral and personality changes, and language deficits. The average life expectancy in FTD patients is seven to 10 years after the onset of symptoms. There is no cure yet for this rare disease.

Neurologist Andrew Kertesz's book "The Banana Lady and Other Stories of Curious Behavior and Speech", presents various case examples of patients suffering from frontotemporal dementia. Of the many case studies discussed in the book, one interesting example which formed the basis for the title is that of a woman who had an obsession with banana and milk.

The phase II study of AL001 in FTD, dubbed INFRONT, was initiated in September 2019. This study is designed to enroll up to 32 patients who will be administered AL001 intravenously every four weeks over at least a 48-week dosing period. The trial is expected to be completed by *March 2021. (*Data sourced from ClinicalTrials.gov).

The Company expects to start a phase III study of AL001 in FTD this year.

-- AL002: under a phase I study in healthy adults and in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, dubbed INVOKE. This compound is being developed in collaboration with partner AbbVie (ABBV).

The INVOKE study is conducted under two phases - a single ascending dose (SAD) and multiple-dose (MD).

In December 2019, the Company reported safety and biomarker data from the single ascending dose (SAD) phase of the INVOKE study in healthy volunteers. AL002 was generally safe and well-tolerated in healthy volunteers. The multiple-dose phase of the phase I trial in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease is ongoing.

-- AL003: under a phase Ib clinical study in approximately 12 Alzheimer's disease patients. The compound is also being developed in collaboration with AbbVie. Data from the study is expected this year.

Including upfront and development milestones, Alector's partnership with AbbVie for the two Alzheimer's disease programs, AL002 & AL003, is worth up to $1.3 billion.

-- AL101: under a phase I study in healthy volunteers. This investigational product candidate is designed to increase progranulin levels. Studies have shown that even moderately reduced progranulin expression may lead to an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Cash position:

The Company, which ended September 30, 2019, with cash and cash equivalents of $381.4 million, raised gross proceeds of $240 million in a public offering that closed on Feb.3, 2020.

ALEC has thus far hit a low of $13.64 and a high of $31.00. The stock closed Tuesday's trading at $30.18, up 7.06%.

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