CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Biogen Inc. announced plans to reprioritize its resources in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a strategic therapeutic area expected to drive near and long-term growth. The company will continue to advance LEQEMBI® (lecanemab-irmb), the first anti-amyloid beta treatment with FDA traditional approval in the United States, and will accelerate development of potential new treatment modalities, including its ASO targeting tau (BIIB080) and an oral small molecule inhibitor of tau aggregation (BIIB113). The company will discontinue the development and commercialization of ADUHELM® (aducanumab-avwa) 100 mg/mL injection for intravenous use and will terminate the ENVISION clinical study.
This decision is not related to any safety or efficacy concerns. A large portion of the resources released resulting from termination of the ADUHELM program will be redeployed in Biogen’s AD franchise.
“As a pioneer in Alzheimer’s disease, Biogen is reprioritizing resources to build a leading franchise to address the multiple pathologies of the disease and patient needs. We plan to further advance the launch of LEQEMBI, together with Eisai, and continue to bolster innovation with the development of the other assets in our pipeline,” said Christopher A. Viehbacher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Biogen. “When searching for new medicines, one breakthrough can be the foundation that triggers future medicines to be developed. ADUHELM was that groundbreaking discovery that paved the way for a new class of drugs and reinvigorated investments in the field.”
Focusing Biogen’s Alzheimer’s Drug Portfolio
In January 2023, Biogen began a strategic review of its research and development efforts, including seeking potential partners or external financing for ADUHELM, as part of a focus on prioritizing the company’s portfolio. During this process, Biogen considered the time and investment required for the post-marketing confirmatory ENVISION study and the likely advancements in the field by the time of potential ADUHELM FDA traditional approval. Despite an extensive process, the company did not identify potential strategic partners or external financing.
Biogen has recorded a one-time charge of approximately $60 million related to close out costs for the program in the fourth quarter of 2023. Biogen licensed aducanumab from Neurimmune and has terminated that license. The rights to aducanumab will revert to Neurimmune.
“We have gained significant insight from the development of ADUHELM and will carry this forward as we continue our pioneering work in Alzheimer’s disease,” said Priya Singhal, M.D., M.P.H., Head of Development at Biogen. “We’d like to sincerely thank the trial investigators, healthcare providers, advocates, patients and families involved in the development of ADUHELM. We are grateful to Neurimmune for its scientific contributions and collaboration over many years.”