Biogen announced that it would cancel its drug trial which could find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease on Thursday. Following this announcement, the company’s stock dropped more than 28%.
This drop in the stock is claimed to be the worst since February 2005.
The American Biotech company said in a statement that it had decided to end the Phase 3 trial of a drug, called aducanumab. This came after an independent audit pointed out that the drug was not likely to work.
Aducanumab was expected to be the company’s next breakthrough because of its successful ventures in the past. Biogen is the latest pharmaceutical company to stop research on Alzheimer’s treatment in recent years. Merck, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer have all canceled their trials earlier. This makes the treatment of Alzheimer’s elusive.
The safety of the drug, which the company developed in partnership with Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, was not the reason for ending the trials according to a statement by Biogen.
Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos said the disappointing news demonstrates the complexity of the disease that there is a need to “further advance knowledge in neuroscience”. The CEO also showed gratitude for the Alzheimer’s disease patients, their families and the investigators who took part in the trials.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease kills more Americans than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.