26.07.2012 - Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson report that Bapineuzumab failed the first of four phase III trials.
The monoclonal antibody Bapineuzumab could not outperform a placebo in moderating symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Expectations on an intravenous formulation of the drug to help a group of patients sharing the so called ApoE4 (apolipoprotein E epsilon 4) genotype could not be fulfilled. Pfizer did not release details of the study’s outcome, but a principal investigator in the trial, Reisa Sperling, told The New York Times that "there was absolutely no evidence at all of a clinical benefit of treatment on either of the primary measures." The antibody developed by the Irish company Elan and US company Pfizer is tested in a large-scale Alzheimer's Immunotherapy Program for its suitability for treating the most common form of dementia. Meanwhile Johnson & Johnson joined the team for a total of four clinical trials. 1100 patients participated in the trail, all of them carriers of the ApoE4 risk gene. It is possible that patients without this gene modification could gain more profit from the agent. A second study with this group will start in the following weeks, two others are still ongoing.
Bapineuzumab is the follow up agent of AN1792, a vaccine which also failed. AN1792 successfully stimulated the formation of antibodies against beta amyloid – a protein that can exert toxic effects in the brain and is believed to play a central role in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease – in animal studies. But in 2002, a phase II trial had to be stopped because of safety issues. Aseptic meningoencephalitis and leukoencephalopathy were diagnosed in 6 percent of the participants. Nevertheless, some hints were given that the vaccine achieved an effect. The same effects were expected for Bapineuzumab, of course without the negative consequences.
29.07.2015 Newly founded Mereo BioPharma has acquired three mid-stage clinical assets from Novartis. In turn, the Swiss pharma concern will hold a stake in the UK company. Other investors are also on board.
24.07.2015 Biotech companies across Europe continue to raise cash on the public markets, generating €3bn in total financing proceedings in the first half of 2015. Compared to 2014, this is almost twice as much.
23.07.2015 US money keeps flowing into Europe's biotechs. As the race for the peanut allergy market heats up, NASDAQ listed French biotech DBV has announced the successful closing of US$281m (€256m) share offering for its allergy products.
16.07.2015 Sanofi has announced plans to restructure its business in five standalone global business units starting in January 2016. The goal is to promote growth and help the company launch a catalogue of new drugs over the next five years.
15.07.2015 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has become the first drugmaker to join the Francis Crick Institute. It is a consortium made up of six scientific and academic institutes to conduct research and drug development in the UK. The new institute is set to become a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation.
10.07.2015 Karolinska Development has slashed the reported value of its portfolio by almost half by revising its valuation model for early stage companies and divesting its shares in pain med maker Pharmanest.
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