Biogen New Alzheimer Drug, Finally The Answer or A Bust?

Biogen is now reversing itself and declaring success for it’s current in-testing Alzheimer’s drug, BAN2401. This is the same drug that failed last year when compared against the placebo over a 12 months testing period.

Biogen’s announcement last week is based on 18 months of testing data from the Phase 2 trial. The highest dosage level of five tested — improved cognition and reduced toxic plaques in the brain.

 

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Biogen: 18 Month Test Results

Biogen designed the clinical trial with the goal of fast-tracking BAN2401 into late-stage development, enrolling roughly 900 patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s. They anticipated that the drug would show a benefit after just a year of treatment. In December, the companies conceded failure, but continued testing out to 18 months.

Indeed, after 18 months, patients in the high-dose group showed a significant cognitive increase after only six months of the trial.

Two criticisms of this Stage 2 data are that it’s unknown how many patients received the highest dose.  Furthermore, the experimental design has not yet been disclosed.

 

Biogen: 2018 Alzheimer’s Drug Stats

Even a glimmer of a positive result from the BAN2401 study will be welcome news in the world of Alzheimer’s drug development. Thus far 2018 has been a disappointment.

The latest example involved a group of drugs called BACE inhibitors, which blocks an enzyme that forms the amyloid plaques. They either don’t work, or they do work but are highly toxic.

Stay tuned.

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