Updated at 9:36AM EST
Biogen (Bahrain Islamic Bank) Stocks rose on Wednesday after the pharmaceutical company and its Japanese partner Eisai Co., Ltd. reported better-than-expected results from the latest stage of Alzheimer’s treatment development.
Biogen said the drug, known as lekanimab, improved slowdowns in cognitive function and functional decline in patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, when compared to a placebo in a phase III trial of about 1,800 patients.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects more than 50 million people worldwide. So far, no drug has been found to treat the disease, which can precipitate into dementia and other more serious cognitive conditions.
Isai said it will apply for full approval for the treatment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year, with a goal for commercial use of the drug in late 2023.
“Today’s announcement gives patients and their families hope that lecanemab, if approved, can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and provide a clinically meaningful effect on cognition and function,” said Biogen CEO Michael Vonatsos.
He added, “As pioneers in neuroscience, we believe that defeating this disease will require multiple approaches and treatment options, and we look forward to continuing to discuss the significance of these findings with patients and the scientific and medical communities.”
Shares of Biogen are up 42% in early trading Wednesday to trade at $280.70 per share, a move that should lift the stock into positive territory for the year.
The news followed a specific reference to Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease treatment, Aduhelm, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday while linking its decision to limit access as a key factor in lowering Medicare Part B premiums.
CMS said earlier this year that it would cover treatment with Aduhelm only if patients were enrolled in a clinical trial after Biogen moved in December of 2021 to cut the price of Aduhelm by about 50%, to $28,200 annually, in order to help expand its reach. likely.
“Less-than-expected spending on both Aduhelm and other Part B items and services has resulted in much larger reserves,” CMS said.
Biogen said the Aduhelm treatment “significantly” lowered blood levels of abnormal tau proteins, which are linked to nEuropean damage in neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Pointing to Aduhelm in previous studies, Biogen has shown it to erode amyloid beta, which is plaque that builds up around the brain and can lead to nerve cell damage.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Aduhelm to treat Alzheimer’s disease through the accelerated approval pathway, which can be used for a drug for serious or life-threatening illness that provides a meaningful treatment advantage over existing treatments, last year.