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A new Alzheimer’s treatment may help some patients, though researchers say more safety data is needed – News Opener

A new study found that Eisai and Biogen’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug moderately reduced cognitive decline after a year and a half.

Eisai’s
4523,
+1.42%

stock was up 1.7%% in Wednesday morning trading in Japan, while shares of Biogen Inc.
BIIB,
-0.17%

gained 0.9% in after-hours trading on Tuesday in the U.S.

The study assessing lecanemab as a treatment for people with early forms of Alzheimer’s disease was published Tuesday night by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Eisai also presented the full findings from the trial on Tuesday night at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease annual meeting in San Francisco. A Biogen spokesperson said in a statement that the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 3 clinical trial shows “the promise of lecanemab as a potential new treatment option.”

The full dataset is aligned with the preliminary data that the companies shared in October that found the drug slowed cognitive decline by 27% in the 1,795 people enrolled in the trial. 

The companies said deaths occurred in 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively, of the participants in the lecanemab and placebo groups, though none were related to lecanemab. There have been two reports of deaths in the trial.

However, the study’s researchers said lecanemab was “associated with adverse events,” and “longer trials are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease.”

Eisai is taking the lead on commercializing lecanemab after the failed launch of Aduhelm, the other Alzheimer’s treatment that the companies developed together.

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