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Published on: July 23, 2012
by Ransdell Pierson for Reuters:
Pfizer Inc said on Monday its experimental Alzheimer’s disease treatment failed to prove effective in one of four high-stakes late-stage trials of the medicine.
The trial involved individuals who carry a variation of a gene called ApoE4 that makes them far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Pfizer said it and its partner Johnson & Johnson will continue with three other late-stage trials of their medicine, called bapineuzumab, based upon a review by independent safety monitors.
The failed North American trial was supervised by J&J, which is also heading another Phase III trial in North America involving patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease that do not carry the ApoE4 gene variation. Pfizer is conducting a pair of overseas Phase III trials, also involving both ApoE4 carriers, and non-carriers.
Bapineuzumab, an injectable monoclonal antibody, works by attacking a protein called beta-amyloid that is believed by many researchers to be a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Most industry analysts have held out little hope that either the Pfizer/J&J drug, or a similar medicine being develped by Eli Lilly and Co called solanezumab, will succeed in their primary goals of improving cognitive and life-function for such patients that already have symptoms.
Pfizer shares were down 1.5 percent in extended trading to $23.25. U.S. traded shares of Irish drugmaker Elan, which is also a development partner, fell nearly 17 percent to $11.25. J&J shares eased 0.4 percent to $67.82.
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