It seems like Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) has become an heir to some of the troubles of Eli Lilly and Co’s (NYSE:LLY), which suffered a late-stage failure of its Alzheimer’s disease drug. The failure of Alzheimer’s treatment occasioned the plunging of the company’s stock. Given that BIIB was using Eli Lilly & Co.’s scientific approach, its stock also declined 3.8%.
This must have been an unfortunate incidence for LLY given that many people expected the positive predictions to act as a stepping stone for BIIB. However, this was not to be. Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges says that BIIB’s probability of success has diminished from about 65% to 35%. But Biogen’s design of its trials also aggravated the risk because the focus could not provide the patient with any clinical benefit. Nonetheless, the impact may not be as fatal on beta-amyloid cascade given that its approach is based on protein fragments.
But there is a distinction between Biogen’s aducanumab and Eli Lilly’s solanezumab
Despite all that is unfolding behind Biogen and Eli Lilly, their particular drugs, aducanumab and the soluble beta amyloid monomers have a distinction according to Porge. The analyst says that that of Biogen is a fundamentally different molecule unlike that of Eli Lilly. The difference explains the different clinical outcome for the two molecules.
Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts emphasize that the failure on Eli Lilly’s, which was somewhat disappointing could initiate an adverse impact on the company’s Alzheimer’s portfolio.
What should be expected from Eli Lilly?
First, the drug maker has vowed not to pursue any approval of the drug intended to treat mild dementia. Instead, they have chosen to take the path of re-evaluation the results while working on development plans for solanezumab and other Alzheimer’s pipeline assets. The investors may have taken the solanezumab results with a pinch of salt, but the Wall Street analysts seem to be holding onto something positive in the long-term. In fact, there are definite hints of beta amyloid monomers hypothesis. Nonetheless, Paul Matteis, a Leerink analyst maintains that there is optimism.