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Biogen scraps two late-stage Alzheimer's trials

Credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER

Biogen Inc and partner Eisai Co Ltd said on Friday they would abandon two late-stage trials testing experimental Alzheimer's treatment elenbecestat, months after scrapping trials of another drug for the memory-robbing disease.

Adds background, details from the release, updates shares

Sept 13 (Reuters) - Biogen Inc BIIB.O and partner Eisai Co Ltd 4523.T said on Friday they would abandon two late-stage trials testing experimental Alzheimer's treatment elenbecestat, months after scrapping trials of another drug for the memory-robbing disease.

The companies said the decision was based on the results of a review conducted by a data safety monitoring board, which recommended discontinuing the trials as the treatment's benefits did not outweigh its risks.

The companies in March ended two late-stage trials of another experimental Alzheimer's disease drug, aducanumab.

The drug's failure wiped out more than $18 billion of Biogen's market value, as investors were betting on the treatment to buoy the drugmaker, which is mired in patent issues over its big-selling multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera and possible competition to spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza.

Major drugmakers, including Eli Lilly and Co LLY.N, AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L, Roche Holding AG ROG.S, Pfizer Inc PFE.N, Merck & Co MRK.N and Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N, have all abandoned Alzheimer's drug development over lack of efficacy or safety issues.

Biogen and Eisai said on Friday their latest decision does not impact their other Alzheimer's study testing experimental treatment, BAN2401.

Biogen's shares fell 0.6% to $230.90 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shinjini Ganguli)

((manojna.kalyani@thomsonreuters.com; within the U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside the U.S. +91 80 6749 1692;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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