The science that powers Alector
We founded Alector with one guiding principle. Do everything using a hypothesis-driven approach.
Our hypothesis is that the immune system plays a critical part in the development of all neurodegenerative diseases.
Our action is to employ a comprehensive approach, leveraging the immune system, to cure these complex disorders.
We are currently working on novel, first-in-class drugs born out of this hypothesis. We believe this unifying theme of controlling the immune system has the potential to cure neurodegenerative diseases.
There is a gap in our understanding of the mechanism of neuro-degenerative disease. Historically, we believed that microglia, immune cells in the brain, were merely responding to disease. A few years ago, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified new gene variants that increase or decrease the chance of developing neuro-degenerative disease. Surprisingly, a large number of these are immune genes primarily expressed in the microglia, suggesting that these cells not only respond to disease, but can also actively drive neuronal degeneration. By targeting immune genes tied to these specific diseases, we believe we can improve the function of the immune system and halt progression of the disease.