Biogen is discontinuing the controversial drug Aduhelm, the first drug approved by government health authorities to treat Alzheimer’s disease in nearly two decades.
The pharmaceutical giant is returning rights to the drug to Neurimmune, the private company that invented it, and incurring a one-time charge of $60 million to close the Aduhelm program, Biogen said Wednesday in a statement.
Biogen, based in Cambridge, Mass., instead plans to focus its resources on other efforts against Alzheimer’s disease. This includes Leqembi, a drug that Biogen is working on in partnership with Japan’s Eisai..
Having received accelerated approval in 2021, Aduhelm has failed to meet commercial expectations, with insurers including the federal government.this medicine due to doubts about its effectiveness and its high cost.
When Biogen initially launched Aduhelm, it set the price at $56,000 per year, but laterto around $28,200 after an outcry.
About 6 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, which gradually attacks areas of the brain needed for memory, reasoning, communication and daily tasks.
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