Shares of Eisai and Biogen did not move dramatically after the drug companies reported the full results of the clinical trial for their experimental Alzheimer’s disease therapy, but the findings point to a stable future for lecanemab once it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Shares of Eisai
were up 3.8% in after-hours trading on Wednesday in Japan, while Biogen’s
stock rallied 6.2% in trading on Wednesday morning in the U.S.
A study published Tuesday night in the New England Journal of Medicine found that lecanemab moderately slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s in patients with early forms of the disease. The randomized, double-blind Phase 3 trial compared lecanemab with a placebo in 1,795 patients over 18 months. At the same time the NEJM study came out, Eisai executives presented the findings from the trial at the annual Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease meeting in San Francisco. “Everything we heard from the presentation supports our positive view of this product, and we continue to believe that lecanemab should get regular approval based on the positive CLARITY-AD data,” SVB Securities analyst Marc Goodman told investors on Wednesday. Here are five of Wall Street’s takeaways from the clinical data set: The full results are in line with the preliminary data previously shared by the companies. The study found that lecanemab reduced cognitive decline by 27% after 18 months, meeting both the primary and secondary endpoints in the clinical trial. The researchers and several Wall Street analysts describe lecanemab as producing a “modest” benefit to the patients enrolled in the study. “Lecanemab reduced markers of amyloid in early Alzheimer’s disease and resulted in moderately less decline on measures of cognition and function than placebo at 18 months but was associated with adverse events,” the study’s researchers concluded. It appears that the drug had an effect “as early as six months and continued to deepen through 18 months,” William Blair’s Myles Minter wrote in an investor note on Wednesday. There are still safety questions. Two patients died in the trial — o …