News Tech: Biogen said on Tuesday that the company will fight Alzheimer’s disease after CEO Michelle Vonatsos resigned and the U.S. government’s Medicare program limited coverage of the controversial treatment for patients in clinical trials. announced that it would stop selling the drug Aduhelm. His Vounatsos, who was named CEO in 2016, will continue in that role until his successor is determined, the company said. Under his leadership, the US biotech company has developed and commercialized several key growth drivers, including Spinraza for spinal muscular atrophy and his Vumerity for multiple sclerosis.
Aduhelm’s regulatory filings in Europe after failing to convince European regulators of the benefits of the treatment. The company says it will retain minimal resources to make her Aduhelm available to patients currently taking the drug in the United States. Mizuho Securities analyst Salim Syed said the move slowed the company’s cash burn, and that the CEO change was well received by the market, as many investors have been calling for biogen’s shares rose 2.5% to $212.49 in early trading.
Aduhelm was set to be the company’s next blockbuster treatment, but controversy over its approval without clear evidence of patient benefit and the US decision to severely restrict access have hampered its development. The outlook seems bankrupt. Biogen said Tuesday at that it is considering “essential” decommissioning of commercial infrastructure associated with Aduhelm, adding further cost savings to its current $500 million annual savings program said it was planning to Biogen decided last month to withdraw.
The company is leaning on Aduhelm, the first new drug for amnesiac disorders in nearly two decades, as its established key revenue driver faces increased competition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the treatment last June despite objections from the FDA’s external panel of experts, with no clear evidence to slow cognitive decline. Legislators and federal agencies have since launched an investigation into FDA approval, with doctors and hospitals refraining from prescribing the drug. He said he would view the announced measures as “a step in the right direction”.