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Sydnee Gatewood
Sydnee Gatewood
Articles (643) 

Biogen Surges on Successful Alzheimer’s Drug Trial

Stock rallies nearly 20% on Friday

July 06, 2018 | About:

The market was singing Biogen Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) praises on Friday after the company released favorable results from a phase II trial of its Alzheimer’s drug on Thursday.

In a partnership with Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Co. Ltd. (TSE:4523), the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company treated 856 patients who had early-stage Alzheimer’s disease with varying dosages of BAN2401.

According to the company, BAN2401 is an anti-amyloid beta protofibril antibody that selectively binds to and eliminates amyloid beta aggregates, which are believed to contribute to neurodegeneration, in the brain.

After 18 months, the study found the patients who were treated with the largest dosage, which was 10 milligrams/kilograms biweekly, showed “a statistically significant slowing of disease progression” in comparison to those who received the placebo. This also reverses an earlier finding, which was announced last December, that indicated the treatment had no benefit at 12 months.

According to Biogen Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alfred Sandrock, the data offers ”important insights in the investigation of potential treatment options for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and underscores that neurodegenerative diseases may not be as intractable as they once seemed.”

“The prospect of being able to offer meaningful disease-modifying therapies to individuals suffering from this terrible disease is both exciting and humbling,” he said.

Dr. Lynn Kramer, chief clinical officer and chief medical officer of Eisai’s Neurology Business Group, added that this was the “first late-stage anti-amyloid antibody study to successfully achieve statistically significant results at 18 months.”

While full results of the study were not released, Biogen says it plans to unveil them at a future medical meeting.

On Friday, shares of Biogen were up nearly 20% at $356.46 with a price-earnings ratio of 25.33, a price-book ratio of 5.33 and a price-sales ratio of 5.99. GuruFocus estimates the stock has gained 6% year to date. The company has a market cap of $74.98 billion.

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Eisai shares closed at 7,706 yen ($69.79) on Thursday, up 19.47%.

Disclosure: No positions.

About the author:

Sydnee Gatewood
I am an editorial assistant at GuruFocus. I have a BA in journalism and a MA in mass communications from Texas Tech University. I have lived in Texas most of my life, but also have roots in New Mexico and Colorado. Follow me on Twitter! @gurusydneerg

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