Roche has linked up with Belgium's reMYND to develop therapeutics that could slow down neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients.

Specifically, the collaboration will focus on two of reMYND’s pre-clinical small molecule programmes targeting alpha-synuclein and tau related pathologies. The companies say that the compounds are unique because they inhibit _-synuclein and tau neurotoxicity in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, respectively and as such they are considered disease-modifying, "whilst most currently available treatments only treat the symptoms of the disease".

Cashwise, reMYND, which is a spin-off company of Leuven University, could receive over half a billion euros in milestone payments, as well as double-digit royalties.

Commenting on the agreement, Luca Santarelli, head of Roche CNS said the addition of these programmes "strengthens and complements our existing research". He added: "We believe that they offer a unique approach to combat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease".

Koen De Witte, managing director of reMYND said that the Alzheimer’s tau programme "represents perhaps a greater potential as it addresses one of the most fundamental aspects of the disease". He added that there is a strong fit between both companies "because we both have a strong biology-driven approach and aim for first-in-class treatments".

Mr De Witte concluded by saying that "Roche’s expertise in diagnostics will be crucial for maximising the chances of success along the long path of clinical development”.