Hundreds Of Alzheimer’s Drugs Targeting Amyloids Have Crashed And Burned. Why Is Pharma Still Obsessed With Them?
Drug after drug after drug that targeted a brain compound called beta amyloid have failed over the years. “We are running out of excuses” for why beta-amyloid treatments aren’t working, said Zaven Khachaturian, editor-in-chief of the medical journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. But drugmakers “keep trying, hoping that the path they are on is going to give blockbuster drugs.”
Alzheimer's And Amyloid: 'It's Time To Do Something Else'
If there is anything more certain than the failure of experimental Alzheimer’s drugs — nearly 300, at last count — it is the immediate reaction of many diehard supporters of the amyloid hypothesis: They insist that idea, which served as the basis for most of those compounds, is still sound. Roche pulls the plug on its anti-amyloid antibody crenezumab in January, after it has no chance of showing any benefit? Not enough to kill the amyloid hypothesis. Merck bails on verubecstat, which shut down production of toxic amyloid, in 2017? Still not enough. Eli Lilly announces in 2016 that its anti-amyloid solanezumab failed to show benefit in people with mild Alzheimer’s? (Begley, 3/21)
Alzheimer's Drug Fails And Scientists Ask, Is It Time To Move On?
This week, Biogen Inc. and Eisai Co. joined the ranks of frustrated companies that spent years nurturing expensive, experimental therapies that ultimately fell short. Many scientists and drug developers are now asking whether it could be time to find another approach to treat the pernicious memory-wasting disease. The brain has been a black box for drug developers, but focusing on beta amyloid has long been viewed as the best hope for treating the mysterious ailment that affects millions of Americans and their families. For many, the hypothesis became an article of faith, motivating billions of dollars in research spending and putting thousands of patients through clinical trials. (Langreth, 3/22)
Alzheimer’s Drug Failure Leaves Biogen In A Precarious Place
Where does Biogen (BIIB) go from here? The announcement from the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company that it is stopping two clinical trials of its Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab is certainly bad for patients, their families, and for anyone worried about developing this terrible, brain-destroying disease. It’s frustrating for researchers who believed medicines like aducanumab had some hope of slowing an affliction that has stymied all attempts at treating it for a decade and a half. (Feuerstein an dHerper, 3/21)
Biogen Halts Late-Stage Trials On Alzheimer’s Drug
The Cambridge biotech company Biogen announced Thursday that it is scrapping tests on an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, dashing hopes among advocates and caregivers for a medication to tame the devastating illness. Biogen — the largest biotech based in Massachusetts — and its Japanese partner Eisai said they were halting two late-stage clinical trials of the drug after concluding it was unlikely to benefit patients. (Freyer, Saltzman and Feuerstein, 3/22)