Biogen Inc. announced today that it will be discontinuing the development and commercialization of its Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. This decision comes after the drug faced intense scrutiny during the U.S. regulatory approval process, generating concerns about its risk-to-benefit ratio.
Despite this setback, Biogen remains committed to advancing the development of Leqembi, an Alzheimer's treatment that received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year. Additionally, the company will also prioritize the development of other potential new treatments for Alzheimer's.
It is important to note that Biogen's decision to halt Aduhelm is not based on any safety or efficacy concerns. Rather, it is due to the company's inability to secure strategic partners or external financing for the program. As a result, Biogen has recorded a one-time fourth-quarter charge of approximately $60 million for close-out costs related to Aduhelm.
The resources freed up from discontinuing Aduhelm will be redirected towards further strengthening Biogen's Alzheimer's business. This reallocation of resources aims to drive innovation and progress in the field of Alzheimer's research and development.
Despite this announcement, Biogen remains resilient in the market. As of today, Biogen shares saw a 0.2% premarket gain, and although they are down 4.5% for the year, the S&P 500 has shown a gain of 3.3% during the same period.