The Tau Consortium commissions world-class research and drug discovery to treat and prevent progressive supranuclear palsy and other tauopathies by 1) assuring that our scientists work collaboratively and 2) engaging with partners who can accelerate our progress. We always act with urgency with the patient in mind. Within 2 years, we want to find ten leading targets and within 4 years find three target compounds that will be ready for human trials.
In the short time since this consortium has been formed, we have made several significant discoveries. The A152T genetic polymorphism in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) has been identified; the specific functional circuits affected by PSP have been imaged in new ways; pathways to clear tau have been described; model systems of tauopathy have been created; and potential therapies found. These important findings are paving the way to finding a way to reverse the toxic aggregation of tau.
Tau is a protein that is found within neurons where it works to stabilize the neuron’s shape and functional activity. As part of normal function, tau aids in the transport of proteins and nutrients throughout the neuron. In many neurodegenerative diseases, the normal folding and unfolding of proteins changes, leading to their abnormal accumulation, causing dysfunction and, ultimately, the death of the cell. Misfolded tau is found in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism, and Alzheimer’s disease.