Physician Views: Gauging doctors’ enthusiasm for newest wave of Alzheimer’s candidates
There are an estimated 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a number that is expected to grow as the Baby Boomers continue to age, which explains why drugmakers have not shied away from the space despite what an academic group recently estimated is a staggering 99.6-percent failure rate for compounds that have entered human testing.
The annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference is being held this week in Washington D.C., and will host the unveiling of new data for several high-profile members of the newest wave of Alzheimer’s disease therapies, including Biogen’s aducanumab and Axovant’s RVT-101.
The two products are very different in both form and function, as aducanumab is a mAb that targets beta-amyloid and is believed to have disease-modifying potential, whereas RVT-101 is a small molecule that antagonises the 5-HT6 serotonin receptor antagonist and is thought capable of offering a modest benefit by delaying the cognitive decline associated with AD.
What’s more, the two have captured the attention of investors for different reasons as well, as Biogen’s programme is the latest would-be contender seeking to prove the often maligned “amyloid hypothesis” for explaining the pathogenesis of AD, while Axovant raised eyebrows by completing a massive $315-million IPO based solely on the prospects for RVT-101, a compound that the company bought only months prior for $5 million after it had been shelved by GlaxoSmithKline.
Data expected to be unveiled by Biogen on July 22 have generated the most discussion going into this week’s meeting, as observers are anxious to see how effective a 6 mg/kg dose of aducanumab will be and – importantly – whether it will prove safer than a 10 mg/kg dose, which proved remarkably effective but may be hamstrung by a high rate (41 percent) of amyloid related imaging abnormality (ARIA) events. (See ViewPoints: Ballyhooed safety data for Biogen’s aducanumab coming next week – important or nah?)
As for Axovant, this week’s readouts should likely prove less of an inflection point as the two scheduled presentations will involve discussions of completer and responder analyses from previously reported studies of RVT-101.
Reasons to Purchase
To gain better understanding about the views of doctors on the how recent events are shaping their perspective on AD as well as how these new agents may ultimately fit into the treatment algorithm, FirstWord PLUS is polling US- and/or EU5-based neurologists and asking them…