- Biogen Idec on Friday revealed data about its investigational Alzheimer's drug BIIB037 (which is being dubbed aducanumab) suggesting the drug caused a sharp slowdown in cognitive decline for Alzheimer's patients, especially in the highest doses.
- It's important to note that the trial had a very small patient pool and was just a phase I study. But if Biogen can keep up the positive data, then aducanumab could become the Alzheimer's breakthrough that has eluded the industry for decades.
- Biogen's stock surged more than 5% in early trading on Friday. The stock had already risen nearly 34% since last December, when researchers unveiled encouraging interim one-year data.
On Tuesday, BioPharma Dive reported that Biogen's BIIB037 could become an Alzheimer's breakthrough. The data from Friday is certainly supporting that case.
Biogen said that it hopes to proceed to larger-scale trials later this year. The company is stressing that the drug, which targets brain amyloid plaque, may not have as impressive data in later studies.
And one major area of concern is adverse events, as the drug (especially in high doses) caused localized brain swelling to a greater extent than even other drugs in similar Alzheimer's therapeutic classes (55% of high-dose patients experienced the adverse event, and 35% of high-dose patients dropped out because of it).