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Biogen drops Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm to give attention to Leqembi, others

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The Biogen headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Oct. 24, 2023.

Vanessa Leroy | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

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Biogen on Wednesday stated it is going to discontinue the sale and growth of its older and extremely controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm to refocus the corporate’s efforts to deal with the memory-robbing disease

The biotech firm will give attention to rolling out Leqembi, a newly permitted Alzheimer’s drug it developed with Japanese drugmaker Eisai. It additionally plans to work on a slate of experimental therapies for the illness. These medication signify a brand new chapter for the corporate after the polarizing launch and approval of Aduhelm. 

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The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration greenlit Aduhelm in 2021 below a program that fast-tracks promising therapies. However controversy shrouded the choice as some specialists had considerations about whether or not the advantages of the drug outweighed its dangers.

The federal Medicare program severely restricted entry to Aduhelm, limiting its gross sales potential, and an 18-month congressional investigation would later allege that the FDA’s approval course of for the drug was “rife with irregularities.” 

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However Biogen famous on Wednesday that its choice to drop Aduhelm was “not associated to any security or efficacy considerations.”

The corporate stated it is going to discontinue gross sales of the drug and has taken a one-time cost of $60 million for ending the Aduhelm program within the fourth quarter. 

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Neurimmune, the Swiss firm that invented the drug, will regain full rights to the drugs, in line with Biogen.

Biogen can also be terminating a post-approval medical trial on Aduhelm after failing to discover a companion or exterior financing for the drug. That research sought to show the therapy’s advantages for sufferers within the early levels of Alzheimer’s illness.

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The corporate stated it is going to redistribute a big portion of the sources related to Aduhelm to the remainder of its Alzheimer’s drug portfolio.

Among the many different Alzheimer’s medication Biogen has in growth is BIIB080, which targets a poisonous protein referred to as tau within the mind. That therapy has proven “favorable developments” throughout a number of measures of cognition and performance in a small research.

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