Amgen, Novartis pull their Alzheimer’s pipeline drug, seeing hopes fading for BACE inhibitor class, says GlobalData

Following today’s (11 July 2019) news that Amgen, Novartis and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute have decided to discontinue the development of their BACE1 inhibitor pipeline drug CNP520 (umibecestat) in two pivotal Phase II/III studies in the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative Generation Program,

Maura Musciacco, Senior Director of Neurology & Ophthalmology at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“CNP520’s Phase II/III studies identified worsening of cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. This is another blow for the Alzheimer’s market, which has seen multiple pipeline failures in recent years. This year alone, two late-stage pipeline drugs, Roche’s crenezumab and Biogen’s aducanumab, failed their late stage trials, although these belong to the amyloid-beta drug class.

“Within the BACE inhibitor drug class, we have also seen multiple failures, however, with the recent termination of CNP520, it means that the only BACE inhibitor pipeline drug undergoing clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease patients is now Biogen’s/Eisai’s elenbecestat and clearly there is inherent risk attached to this asset, as such, GlobalData forecasts elenbecestat to generate modest sales of US$365m in 2026. However, the real question is whether this drug will ever make it to market or if it will follow the fate of all other BACE inhibitor pipeline drugs so far.”

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