MEDICATION TRIALS: The FDA has accepted Biogen’s application for aducanumab, an investigational treatment for Alzheimer’s, and even granted it Priority Review, with an action date set for March 7, 2021. Learn more.
Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB) and Eisai, Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the Biologics License Application (BLA) for aducanumab, an investigational treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
The application has been granted Priority Review, with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date on March 7, 2021, and the FDA has stated that, if possible, it plans to act early on this application under an expedited review.
If approved, aducanumab would become the first therapy to reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s disease and would also be the first therapy to demonstrate that removing amyloid beta resulted in better clinical outcomes.
‘Beginning of a new era’
“The FDA’s acceptance of the aducanumab BLA with Priority Review is an important step in the path to potentially having a treatment that meaningfully changes the course of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Michel Vounatsos, Chief Executive Officer at Biogen.
“We look forward to working with the FDA throughout the review process and thank the thousands of clinicians, patients and caregivers who participated in our clinical trials and have accompanied us on this journey.
“We believe that aducanumab marks the beginning of a new era of potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that will inspire even more discovery and innovation to bring hope to those affected by this devastating disease.”
“Reducing clinical decline and maintaining the ability to live an independent life for as long as possible are things that people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families value in a potential treatment,” said Dr. Haruo Naito, Chief Executive Officer at Eisai Co., Ltd.
Paradigm shift in treatment
“If aducanumab is approved, we expect that it will make a difference in the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease. We believe that this historic milestone is one step towards creating a paradigm shift in treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a public health issue for aging societies.”
Biogen did not use its Priority Review voucher for the aducanumab BLA. The FDA also stated that it is currently planning to hold an Advisory Committee meeting for this application on a yet-to-be-determined date.
“I am heartened by what this progress may mean for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families,” said Dr. Christopher van Dyck, M.D., Director of the Yale Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
“If aducanumab is determined to be effective in reducing the decline in cognition and activities of daily living resulting from progression of this disease by addressing the underlying disease pathology, it will deliver meaningful benefits to those who most need them.”
Aducanumab (BIIB037) is an investigational human monoclonal antibody studied for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on clinical data from patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and mild Alzheimer’s disease, aducanumab has the potential to impact underlying disease pathophysiology, slow cognitive and functional decline and provide benefits on patients’ ability to perform activities of daily living, including conducting personal finances, performing household chores, such as cleaning, shopping and doing laundry, and independently traveling out of the home.
If approved, aducanumab would be the first treatment to meaningfully change the course of the disease for individuals living with Alzheimer’s.
Biogen licensed aducanumab from Neurimmune under a collaborative development and license agreement. Since October 2017 Biogen and Eisai have collaborated on the development and commercialization of aducanumab globally.
Phase 3 studies to evaluate aducanumab
EMERGE and ENGAGE were Phase 3 multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group studies designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of aducanumab.
The primary objective of the studies was to evaluate the efficacy of monthly doses of aducanumab as compared with placebo in reducing cognitive and functional impairment as measured by changes in the Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) score.
Secondary objectives were to assess the effect of monthly doses of aducanumab as compared to placebo on clinical decline as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale 13 Items (ADAS-Cog 13) and Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory Mild Cognitive Impairment Version (ADCS-ADL-MCI).