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Biogen stock price: Biogen shares tumble as Alzheimer's drug trial disappoints

Biogen stock price: Biogen shares tumble as Alzheimer's drug trial disappoints

Biogen and Eisai were evaluating aducanumab in two phase III studies - ENGAGE and EMERGE - in patients with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease and mild Alzheimer's disease dementia.

The company said it would also discontinue the phase-2 EVOLVE study of aducanumab, which was an extension of the phase-1b PRIME to evaluate the experimental drug's safety. However, it was said that treating Alzheimer's disease is proving to be tenuous.

It's another devastating blow in the search for a treatment for patients living with Alzheimer's disease.

The demise of aducanumab came after independent experts determined the trials had little hope of succeeding, marking the latest setback in the quest to treat a mind-wasting disease that affects 5.7 million people in the United States alone.

The development is a "transformative failure for Biogen's pipeline", said Brian Abrahams, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, who had the equivalent of a hold rating on the stock. In March 2014 Eisai and Biogen entered into a joint development and commercialization agreement for BAN2401 and the parties amended that agreement in October 2017.

Despite those failures, there had been hope that aducanumab was one of the best chances of showing an impact after mid-stage trials showed evidence that it could stabilise cognitive decline. Although aducanumab is only the latest of those failures, Cowen analyst Phil Nadeau wrote in a note to clients Thursday that aducanumab's clear ability to remove amyloid beta from the brain makes it hard to see how other amyloid beta-targeting antibodies could succeed.

Seven-seat Tesla Model Y revealed with 300-mile range
Model Y crossover electric vehicle during an unveiling event in Hawthorne, California , U.S., on Friday, March 15, 2019. The high-end models are scheduled to launch next fall, with the standard version following in the spring of 2021.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "There are hundreds of thousands of people living with Alzheimer's in the UK and this news is clearly disappointing for them and their families".

"Those are very, very interesting companies that should be considered now, more seriously".

Two clinical trials for the testing of an Alzheimer's drug, have been canceled due to the lack of prospect of success.

Many companies are pursuing alternative theories for attacking Alzheimer's, such as focusing on tau, another Alzheimer's-linked protein, or on inflammation, which is believed to play a role in the very early formation of the disease. "If they want one more shot on goal, I would think that would be a business decision rather than a strong scientific decision".

Eisai Co., Ltd. announced that a global Phase III clinical study (Clarity AD/Study 301) of BAN2401, an anti-amyloid beta protofibril antibody, in patients with early Alzheimer's disease has been initiated. Detailed data from these studies will be presented at future medical meetings.

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