Patients who took Lundbeck’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug achieved significant improvement in cognition, according to trial data from the Danish drugmaker.
Lu AE58054, which just completed a Phase 2 clinical trial, was tried in combination with donepezil on 278 patients suffering from moderate Alzheimer’s. The study achieved its main target of improved cognitive function, as well as showed positive trends in secondary endpoints, including activities of daily living.
"These results are very encouraging, and we are now evaluating how to best proceed with the development of Lu AE58054," said Executive Vice President Anders Gersel Pedersen, head of Research & Development at Lundbeck, in a statement. "We believe that there is a strong need for better treatments for patients with Alzheimer's disease, and Lundbeck sees Lu AE58054 as a potential new treatment option for this devastating disease."
Lundbeck’s stock has been up since the positive news of the trial results and is up 14% year-to-date.
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The race for an Alzheimer’s drug is intense. Johnson & Johnson is partnered with Pfizer on bapineuzumab, which is in a late-stage program. Eli Lilly’s solanezumab is in a final stage trial as well. Lastly, Roche’s gantenerumab is only at the second stage of trials.
Plus, Roche’s crenezumab was chosen to be part of the government’s National Alzheimer’s Plan. The company was granted $16 million to try the drug on people with no signs of dementia to see if early intervention can prevent or slow the disease.
However, the Alzheimer’s field is full of failures, including a former Lilly drug, semagecestat. And two-thirds of analysts surveyed by ISI Group expect J&J and Pfizer’s bapineuzumab and Lilly’s solanezumab to fail.