Media outlets report on mounting concerns over the safety of Eisai and Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease treatment lecanemab. Separately, Axsome Therapeutics says its drug reduces agitation in Alzheimer’s patients. Nestle and PhRMA are also in the news.
Eisai, Biogen Rocked By 2nd Lecanemab Death Report Ahead Of Alzheimer’s Data Reveal
Concerns are mounting about the safety of Eisai and Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease prospect lecanemab. Ahead of the presentation of the full phase 3 dataset on Tuesday, Science has reported on the death of a second recipient of the anti-amyloid antibody who suffered a brain hemorrhage. (Taylor, 11/28)
Biogen Stock Falls On Report That Patient Died In Eisai’s Alzheimer Trial
The case involved a 65-year-old woman who died of a massive brain hemorrhage after suffering a stroke and a type of brain swelling and bleeding in an Eisai trial, according to a report in Science magazine. The bleeding began after the patient received an anti-clotting drug, the report said. Brain swelling and bleeding have previously been linked to medicines that work like the Biogen-Eisai treatment. (Kresge, 11/28)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Axsome Drug Reduces Agitation In Alzheimer’s Patients, Data Show
A drug developed by Axsome Therapeutics significantly reduced a common side effect of Alzheimer’s disease — agitation — the company announced Monday. The therapy, AXS-05, met its primary goal of delaying time to relapse and preventing patients from relapsing. Patients taking the drug had a 3.6-fold lower risk of relapse overall, compared to placebo. (DeAngelis, 11/28)
Nestle May Sell Allergy Unit In Health-Strategy U-Turn
Nestle SA put its Palforzia peanut-allergy treatment up for sale only two years after buying it, as Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider reverses course on one of his biggest acquisitions beyond the Swiss company’s traditional food and beverage operations. (Afanasieva, 11/29)
PhRMA, Once Invincible In Washington, Has Lost Its Edge
PhRMA has a reputation in Washington for might, for money, for scorched-earth tactics, and for fighting even the tiniest of policy changes. The pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying arm raised hell, for example, when lawmakers asked it to cover a slightly larger share of seniors’ drug costs. It spent years refusing to concede even minimal tweaks to an obscure bill related to generic competition. Over the last year, however, something changed. PhRMA, once a titanic lobbying powerhouse, lost its edge. (Cohrs, 11/29)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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