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Biogen Scraps Two Late-Stage Alzheimer's Trials

September 13, 2019

By Reuters Staff

Biogen Inc and partner Eisai Co Ltd said on Friday they would abandon two late-stage trials testing experimental Alzheimer's treatment elenbecestat, months after scrapping trials of another drug for the memory-robbing disease.

The companies said the decision was based on the results of a review conducted by a data safety monitoring board, which recommended discontinuing the trials as the treatment's benefits did not outweigh its risks.

The companies in March ended two late-stage trials of another experimental Alzheimer's disease drug, aducanumab.

The drug's failure wiped out more than $18 billion of Biogen's market value, as investors were betting on the treatment to buoy the drugmaker, which is mired in patent issues over its big-selling multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera and possible competition to spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza.

Major drugmakers, including Eli Lilly and Co LLY.N, AstraZeneca Plc, Roche Holding AG, Pfizer Inc, Merck & Co and Johnson & Johnson, have all abandoned Alzheimer's drug development over lack of efficacy or safety issues.

Biogen and Eisai said on Friday their latest decision does not impact their other Alzheimer's study testing experimental treatment, BAN2401.

Biogen's shares fell 0.6% to $230.90 in premarket trading.

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