AP

Alzheimer’s drug shows promise in early results of study

Sep 28, 2022, 6:06 AM | Updated: Sep 30, 2022, 12:48 pm

Shares of Biogen and other drugmakers researching Alzheimer’s disease soared Wednesday after Japan’s Eisai Co. said its potential treatment appeared to slow the fatal disease in a late-stage study.

The drugmaker said early results showed that its treatment, lecanemab, reduced patient clinical decline by 27% when compared to a placebo or fake drug after 18 months of the infused treatment.

Eisai announced results late Tuesday from a global study of nearly 1,800 people with early-stage Alzheimer’s.

Patients were monitored using a scale that measures mental decline and their ability to do daily activities like getting dressed or feeding oneself.

Eisai Co. Ltd. said it would discuss full results from the research at a conference in late November. It also plans to publish findings in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The company is already seeking an accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the agency is expected to decide by early next year. Eisai and Biogen will co-promote the drug.

Researchers typically urge caution in evaluating a study until the full results are released. But the initial findings appear to be “quite robust” and will likely support regulatory approval, Mizuho Securities analyst Graig Suvannavejh said in a research note.

A statement from the Alzheimer’s Association called the findings the most encouraging to date for potential treatments of the underlying disease causes.

Some 6 million people in the U.S. and many more worldwide have Alzheimer’s, which gradually attacks areas of the brain needed for memory, reasoning, communication and basic daily tasks.

Alzheimer’s has no known cure. Long-standing treatments on the market just manage symptoms, and researchers don’t fully understand what causes the disease.

Last year, Biogen’s Aduhelm became the first new Alzheimer’s drug introduced in nearly two decades. But it has largely flopped after debuting with a price tag of $56,000 annually, which Biogen later slashed.

Doctors have been hesitant to prescribe it, given weak evidence that the drug slows the progression of Alzheimer’s. Insurers have blocked or restricted coverage due to concerns over the drug’s high price tag and uncertain benefit.

Earlier this year, the federal Medicare program imposed strict limits on who can get the drug, wiping out most of its potential U.S. market. Biogen announced afterward that it would stop most of its spending on the treatment.

Like Aduhelm, lecanemab, which Eisai developed, aims to clear a protein called beta-amyloid from the brain.

The protein forms a plaque that researchers believe is a contributor to Alzheimer’s. They also point to other potential factors like family history and chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Eisai executives say lecanemab focuses more on floating clumps of the protein before it forms the plaque, which is what Aduhelm targets.

Eli Lilly and Co. also is developing a potential treatment, donanemab, that targets the protein.

Shares of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc. jumped 40% to close Wednesday at $276.61. The stock had largely tumbled since Aduhelm’s debut last year.

Shares of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. rose 7.5%.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

12 hours ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

13 hours ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

5 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

6 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Alzheimer’s drug shows promise in early results of study