Biogen’s (BIIB) investigational Alzheimer’s disease drug, aducanumab, is one of the four therapies accepted in the European Medicines Agency’s (or EMA) Priority Medicines program (or PRIME).
According to Biogen’s 2Q16 earnings transcript, “PRIME aims to bring treatments to patients faster by enhancing the EMA’s support for the development of investigational medicines for diseases without available treatment or in need of better treatment options.” This underlines the importance of aducanumab as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy.
Biogen is currently enrolling clinical subjects for aducanumab’s Phase 3 trial. Additionally, the company is expecting results related to the safety profile of the drug from a Phase 1b trial by the end of 2016. To know more about aducanumab’s progress as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy, please refer to Biogen Presents Data from PRIME Study of Its Alzheimer’s Therapy.
The above diagram lists Biogen’s Alzheimer’s-related research programs. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, if Biogen manages to launch an innovative therapy, it will boost the company’s share price as well as that of the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB). Biogen makes up about 0.29% of IWB’s total portfolio holdings.
Other Alzheimer’s research programs
Biogen and Eisai are working in partnership to develop a BACE inhibitor therapy, BAN2401, for Alzheimer’s. Peers such as Eli Lily (LLY), AstraZeneca (AZN), and Merck & Co. (MRK) are also involved in developing BACE inhibitor-based therapies for the disease.
Additionally, Biogen is involved in programs for developing Alzheimer’s drugs. With multiple Alzheimer’s research programs, Biogen may be able to combine two or more drugs for improved efficacy or to reduce the dosages of combined drugs for higher safety.
These programs may also give the company flexibility to treat Alzheimer’s at all stages of disease progression. To know more about Biogen’s Alzheimer’s treatment programs, please refer to Alzheimer’s Research Is Still Key Driver of Biogen’s Valuations.