Biogen revived efforts on Tuesday to seek U.S. permit for Alzheimer’s treatment aducanumab, shocking investors and saying data from extra patients in two discontinued studies confirmed the drug reduced the decline of sufferers.
The drug producer’s shares surged 27% in New York trading, recouping virtually all of the $18 billion it lost when it mentioned in March it was abandoning the two studies. Shares in Eisai, Biogen’s Japanese associate in the drug, have been quoted up 18% to the daily limit high of 6,534 yen in Tokyo trading.
The sphere of experimental Alzheimer’s remedies is littered with high-profile failures, with many major drug producers leaving the race to develop a medication for a disease that makes up 60%-70% of an estimated 50 million dementia cases globally.
Any drug that effectively treats the illness is prone to become one of many world’s top-promoting medicines and could be transformative for Biogen, which is dealing with multiple problems over its product pipeline.
Filing with U.S. regulators could “doubtlessly bring back to life medicine that had been utterly left for dead,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams wrote in a note.
Biogen and Eisai chose to end the two late-stage trials of aducanumab in March when a so-called “futility evaluation” revealed the trials had little hope of accomplishing.
The failure spurred demands on Wall Street for the corporate to spend more on purchases, as its mainstay multiple-sclerosis franchise faced patent difficulties and its newer muscle-wasting dysfunction treatment, Spinraza, faced competitors from Switzerland’s Novartis.