An experimental drug from Roche has failed to demonstrate its ability to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in two studies, leaving competitors Biogen and Esai at the forefront of the race to discover a cure for the memory-stealing disease.
Roche said Monday that the two studies, conducted together, fell short of their desired objective of demonstrating that the drug “Gantirumab” can preserve skills such as memory, problem solving, orientation and self-care in children. patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Swiss drugmaker conducted two identically designed studies, each involving around 1,000 participants, which were reviewed by doctors for two years. In each study, volunteers were randomly assigned to receive gantirumab and some to receive a placebo.
The company said in a statement that the drug was associated with a relative decrease in symptom deterioration of about 8% in one of the two studies and 6% in the other study when comparing those who received the drug and those at who were given a placebo, but added that these results are not statistically significant.
Roche headquarters in Switzerland
Roche shares fell 4.4% to a low in about seven weeks.
Shares of US drugmakers Biogen and Eli Lilly, which are developing competing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, rose 3.8% and 2.3% respectively in premarket trading.
For its part, Biogen achieved surprising success on an experimental drug last September for Alzheimer’s disease Developed with Sage.
The companies said at the time that their investigational drug, lecanib It slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by 27%. compared to placebo in a large study of patients with early stages of symptoms.