Biogen joins the long list of pharmaceutical companies that have tried but failed to develop successful treatments for Alzheimer’s.
The decision to stop the trials was based on an interim analysis conducted by an independent monitoring committee. This analysis concluded that the potential new drug, aducanumab, was unlikely to benefit Alzheimer’s patients compared to placebo when the trials completed, Biogen and Eisai said.
“This disappointing news confirms the complexity of treating Alzheimer’s disease and the need to further advance knowledge in neuroscience,” Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos said in a statement.
As of this writing, Biogen has lost $18 billion in market value, on pace for its worst day since August 2008. The stock is tanking because the drug was expected to be a blockbuster. Expectations had been high for aducanumab as Goldman Sachs analysts had projected at one time that sales of the drug could reach $12 billion.
The news is another body blow to an industry that bounds market strategy only within the context of "drug."
Health happens at a system level. If the primary endpoint in an Alzheimer's study is outcomes -- improving cognition, say, or reducing agitation -- vs. technical merits of drug in isolation from its eviornment (e.g., reduction of amyloid accumulated in the brain), what would a Biogen + Spotify combination look like as a path to new science to get there?
Glen Campbell went public with his Alzheimer's diagnosis and allowed his journey to be documented in the film "I'll Be Me." He died Aug. 8, 2017. “Continuing to engage with music helped him plateau," his wife, Kim Campbell, says. "Music really kept him content. We would use it to soothe him when he got agitated." There is also a published body of evidence that supports the link.
Recombination is the real source of value innovation in healthcare. Everything is a remix.