Japan’s Biogen partner calls for global action on Alzheimer’s

Recent US approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s friend It highlights the urgent need for a framework to test and treat a disease that is considered a “covert epidemic,” according to the head of Japanese development partner Isai.

Aducanumab, which will be sold under the brand name Aduhelm, is the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly two decades but attracted controversy In the United States vs. Its price is $56000 per year and questions about its effectiveness.

In an interview, Eisai CEO Haruo Naito said the Japanese group and Biogen are preparing steps to make the drug more widely available. But he added that there was a need for countries around the world to enact special legislation to address Alzheimer’s disease – as the US National Cancer Act did for the disease – to address the high per capita loss and annual global cost of dementia, which is now estimated at To be more than 1 trillion dollars.

“We don’t believe that Aduhelm alone will fundamentally treat Alzheimer’s disease, but achieving this breakthrough will enable us to visualize the pathway for how to achieve the primary treatment,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 10 million new cases of dementia each year, two-thirds of which are Alzheimer’s disease. Naito said the disease is a “covert pandemic” that is spreading outside developed countries, such as Japan and the United States, to developing countries.

He added, “It’s not just one or two pharmaceutical companies, but it is critical to have a broader framework between the public and private sectors to combat this disease and there is a sense of frustration that efforts have been made on this front so hard.”

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved aducanumab, shares in Eisai are up 45 percent, and analysts expect the drug to fully contribute to profits from the fiscal year ending in March 2024.

In addition to the drug’s cost, Credit Suisse analyst Fumiyoshi Sakai said potential barriers to developing the new drug include difficulty reaching a definitive Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the specialized tests required to assess whether a patient is an appropriate candidate for Alzheimer’s disease. Medicine. Suitable patients should also have an intravenous infusion every four weeks.

However, Sakai said the FDA approval has increased the chances of future clearance of Eisai BAN2401, another Alzheimer’s disease drug being developed jointly with Biogen. Drugs from rival drug groups Eli Lilly and Roche may enter the market earlier than expected.

“Aducanumab may still be in the realm of an experimental drug, but as more data accumulates over the next few years, it will open the way for other drugs to emerge,” Sakai said.

Isai has been developing anti-dementia medication since the early 1980s and is known for it donepezilAricept, the most common treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, was originally developed as Aricept.

“If you look at us from any angle, we’re all talking about dementia,” said Naito, the 73-year-old grandson of the Esai founder. “We have the knowledge that’s accumulated over a long series of failures and we’ve poured in resources that are comparable to the big pharma, so I feel like we’re competitive.”

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