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After years of failed attempts to treat Alzheimer’s disease by targeting a toxic brain plaque called amlyoid, a critical mass of scientists turned their attention to a seemingly more promising target: a tangled cranial protein called tau. But the failure of a closely watched tau treatment suggests history may repeat itself for neurology’s next-best idea.

On Wednesday, the Swiss drug maker AC Immune said its anti-tau antibody missed its primary and secondary goals in a placebo-controlled study that enrolled more than 450 people with early-stage Alzheimer’s. 

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