Sumary of Biogen launches defence of contentious $56,000 Alzheimer’s drug:
- Biogen has issued a staunch defence of the science and approval process behind its controversial Alzheimer’s drug, saying that “misinformation” is fuelling criticism of the treatment.
- ” The treatment, which is sold under the brand name Aduhelm, “was approved appropriately on very solid grounds and represented the right thing to do”, he said.
- Some scientists have said the treatment does not work and should never have been given the go-ahead, while others allege that the US medicines regulator and the drugmaker had collaborated too closely in the run-up to the approval.
- The $56,000-a-year infusion treatment is the first Alzheimer’s drug to be given the green light in nearly two decades.
- Michael McDonnell, Biogen’s chief financial officer, said the Massachusetts-based drugmaker welcomed the formal review and that it would be “good for everyone involved to ensure confidence in the therapy”.
- Biogen said revenues from Aduhelm hit $2 million in the second quarter, but Vounatsos noted that a “big chunk” of the sales were inventory and did not reveal the number of patients who have started treatment.
- Amyloid-clearing drugsAduhelm is designed around the amyloid hypothesis, whose proponents say that clumps of protein building up in the brain cause Alzheimer’s.
- Numerous pharmaceutical companies have previously tried and failed to develop amyloid-clearing drugs and prove that removing the proteins can mitigate the disease.