How Biogen’s Aduhelm Bet Became A Commercial Bust
Biogen caught a lucky break in getting the first FDA approval for a potentially disease-modifying Alzheimer’s therapy, but doubt over clinical benefit and commercial missteps have left Biogen in a precarious position a year later.
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Eisai says ‘narrow’ indication negated need for REMS on amyloid-related imaging abnormalities and hemorrhages in the brain. Unusual nature of accelerated approval and confirmatory trial timing means safety data from the Phase III is barely mentioned in label.
Ivan Cheung, Eisai’s US CEO, explains the ‘question-by-question’ the company is taking to convince the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that its Phase III Clarity AD results in Alzheimer’s offer the ‘high level of evidence’ needed for smooth reimbursement of lecanemab.
Why not wait for the confirmatory trial to read out before approval, at least in the context of an especially uncertain or controversial surrogate marker?