Belfast Telegraph

Alzheimer test failure sparks Elan shares fall

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are ending development of an intravenous formulation of a drug to treat Alzheimer's disease after the treatment failed in two late-stage clinical trials.

The companies hoped bapineuzumab intravenous would slow the decline in physical and mental function for patients with Alzheimer's. However the drug did not work better than a placebo in two late-stage trials in patients who had mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Dublin-based Elan, which licensed the drug to Johnson -amp; Johnson in 2009, said it will take a $117.3m (£75m) charge of its own. Its shares lost 9.4% in after-hours trading yesterday.

Johnson -amp; Johnson made a big bet on bapineuzumab in 2009, agreeing to invest up to US$ 1.5bn (£1bn) initially.

The drug is designed to prevent the build-up of plaque in the brain.

Current treatments for Alzheimer's can only temporarily ease symptoms of the disease.

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.

Popular