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Hope the Swiss Alzheimer's drug smash

Now it has also caught the biggest hope against Alzheimer's disease. Two large patient studies with a developed in Zurich active ingredient failed. The US-biotech company Biogen together with the Japanese collaboration partner, Eisai, in a press release.

Shortly after the announcement, the share fell price of Biogen temporarily by more than 20 percent.

The patient studies had to be canceled because already before the end of the Experiments it has become clear that the study objective could not be reached. The goal was for the patient, the progressive stop at the end of Forget.

Pfizer have tested out

the active ingredient, Biogen and Eisai, is a antibody to make in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, a pathological deposition, Beta-Amyloid, harmless.

Similar approaches have been pursued by many pharmaceutical companies and all have failed – most recently, the Lausanne-based company AC Immune, together with Roche. At the end of January, the two Swiss companies had to announce that for the antibody Crenezumab.

A drumbeat, too, was, as last year, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, announcing, completely out of the research of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, to get out. The reason is that in the medium term, the US group's expected success on the field.

Unusually slow disease course

Biogen and Eisai were hoping for a special trump card in the Hand. In fact, researchers and investors had expected, the trials with voltage. Because the antibody Aducanumab had been developed according to a natural model. Researchers at the University of Zurich had chosen a special approach.

Instead of looking at what makes patients sick, they analyzed why some people in old age to remain mentally fit. Or why some Alzheimer's patients show an unusually slow disease course. The Team found evidence of a specific antibody that attacks the harmful deposits in the brain. The Start-up company Neurimmune in Schlieren, has developed the antibodies, and Biogen for the license granted.

The 1600 patients participated in the two studies, once-monthly antibody Infusion, without success.

110 new drugs in the Test

"This disappointing news to confirm how complex it is to treat the Alzheimer's disease and how necessary it is to gain further knowledge in the neurosciences," said Michel Vounatsos, the CEO of Biogen, in a statement to the press. Biogen will pursue the development of a potential Alzheimer's drugs. Two further studies with the antibody Aducabumab, however, were also stopped and another one that was planned with the active ingredient, will be re-evaluated.

"The results are very disappointing for Alzheimer's patients and their families as well as for the entire Neurimmune Team," says Roger Nitsch, CEO and President of Neurimmune, in a press release.

Although in recent years more than 100 substances against Alzheimer's disease in studies failed to continue the search for a drug. Currently, around 110 new drugs are tested in patient studies.

Worldwide, 44 million people are affected by dementia, in Switzerland, 144'000. Alzheimer's disease is the most common Form of dementia. (Editorial Tamedia)

Created: 21.03.2019, 18:47 PM

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