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Roche pulls plug on Alzheimer's drug after Phase 3 failure

Published on 30/01/19 at 10:21am

Roche has announced that it is to terminate two Phase 3 studies investigating the efficacy of its anti-beta-amyloid molecule crenezumab in the treatment of early sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), after it became apparent that the drug was unlikely to meet its primary endpoint.

The decision was taken when a pre-planned interim analysis undertaken by an Independent Data Monitoring Committee determined that crenezumab would not generate an improvement from baseline in Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) Score.

The revelation marks the latest in a string of high-profile failures in the Alzheimer’s space, particularly of those investigating the prevailing hypothesis that the formation of beta amyloid protein plaques in the brain as a key factor in the development of the disease.

“While the results with crenezumab are disappointing, they meaningfully contribute to our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease,” commented Dr Sandra Horning, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development at Roche. “We gratefully acknowledge the participants in the CREAD trials and the efforts of everyone involved in this important programme. We remain dedicated to the Alzheimer’s community and will continue our Phase III GRADUATE trials with gantenerumab and Phase II TAURIEL trial with the anti-tau molecule RG6100, as well as our imaging and fluid-based diagnostic solutions.”

Though it failed to display adequate efficacy, it was noted that the drug, which Roche was developing in partnership with AC Immune, demonstrated a safety profile which was consistent with previous findings.

Matt Fellows

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