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Roche, AC Immune drop Alzheimer drug trials after setback


Roche, AC Immune drop Alzheimer drug trials after setback

The announcement from Roche and its Swiss-based partner AC Immune came after an interim analysis indicated it was unlikely to be effective, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday. Nasdaq-listed shares of AC Immune fell 65 per cent in response.

ZURICH: Roche Holding and partner AC Immune SA called a halt to two late-stage clinical trials of their crenezumab drug for early Alzheimer’s, the latest in a string of failures to find a treatment for the progressive brain disease.

The announcement from Roche and its Swiss-based partner AC Immune came after an interim analysis indicated it was unlikely to be effective, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday. Nasdaq-listed shares of AC Immune fell 65 per cent in response.

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Alzheimer’s, a fatal disease which affects memory and language as it progresses, is a compelling target for drugmakers as the numbers affected across the globe swell with an ageing population, but experimental Alzheimer’s drugs have had a dismal track record, with more than 100 failures.

About 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and the number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050, according to the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association.

Drugmakers such as Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson and Johnson have all abandoned trials testing their experimental drugs.

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The trial failures have undermined the so-called amyloid beta, or beta, treatment hypothesis, in which protein plaques in the brain are believed to play a pivotal role in the disease.

Roche said an Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) study of crenezumab among healthy individuals with a genetic disposition to develop the disease in Colombia would continue.

Roche added it remained committed to ongoing clinical studies of Alzheimer’s disease, including separate late-stage trials with gantenerumab and a mid-stage anti-tau trial.



Source: Reuters
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