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Biogen Alzheimer’s data won’t sway believers or doubters either way

Biogen’s aducanumab data at CTAD leave believers believing, doubters doubting

The upshot of Biogen’s aducanumab data is that the robustness of the compound’s efficacy remains in doubt. The CTAD presentation gave enough grist for believers to continue believing and skeptics to keep on doubting.

Aducanumab data presented by Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) at the Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) meeting in San Diego on Thursday buttressed the company’s hypothesis that Alzheimer’s disease patients treated at the highest dose for longer are more likely to achieve clinical benefit with the anti-β amyloid mAb, but the findings fell short of resolving questions about the opposite results of the Phase III ENGAGE and EMERGE trials.

In particular, between the two trials, there was little difference in the number of patients who received the high dose for the maximum amount of time. The presentation also lacked certain subgroup analyses that would have been informative.

“What we’re learning is that it’s really the character of the dosing and reaching a target dose.”

Samantha Budd Haeberlein, Biogen

 

The magnitude of therapy’s benefit is one question. Another issue is the possibility the mAb may only benefit patients who carry the Alzheimer’s risk factor APOE4. The company’s explanation for the differential findings in the two trials boils down to a protocol amendment involving APOE4 carriers.

Investors weren’t deterred, however, as the stock climbed $9.87 to $299.39 on Thursday, reaching a market cap of $54 billion. The company,

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