Roche Gives New Life to Two Alzheimer’s Drugs That Failed Clinical Trials
Roche will increase research and development efforts on two Alzheimer’s drugs that suffered setbacks in trials last year, as the race for a potential cure heats up.
The Swiss drugmaker said Wednesday that its anti-amyloid plaque monoclonal antibody crenezumab will move into late-stage Phase 3 development. The company is looking to begin new clinical trials of its other monoclonal antibody, ganternerumab, after shutting down a Phase 3 trial in December.
The new trial for ganternerumab will use a larger dose, Roche said, noting that tests of spinal fluids and brain scans after the original trial showed promise in patients who received a larger dose. The anti-amyloid plaque monoclonal antibodies target proteins in the brain that are believed to cause the disease.
Roche has another drug in Phase 2 development, RG1577. No timeline was released for the new trials.
Roche’s two main competitors in the Alzheimer’s race, Eli Lilly and Biogen, reported positive clinical trial results for their investigational drugs. Lilly’s solanezumab and Biogen’s aducanumab both showed statistically significant slowing of cognitive decline in Phase 3 trials.
The market for potential Alzheimer’s drugs is in the tens of billions, fueled in part by an estimated 28 million baby boomers who may develop the disease, researchers at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington said Wednesday.
Recently, the FDA called for more collaboration and research to develop drugs to treat diseases including Alzheimer’s, which has no effective treatment. — Kellen Owings