Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most threatening illnesses among the elderly population. 500,000 senior citizens die every year suffering from Alzheimer’s and 60,000 people are struck with Parkinson’s. Even in an age where technological advancement is often taken for granted as an expectation, new and blossoming discoveries are enthusiastically and hopefully welcome.
Recent findings in early stage trials may just be the light in the dark the field was waiting to illuminate prospects and JMP securities excitedly offers that if results can be replicated, or similarly had in late-phase studies, Biogen could “conceivably have the biggest drug on the planet”
Two new in-progress medicines have shown breakthrough results in their clinical trials. The drug released by Biogen, Inc., aducanumab, removes the plaque in the brain that causes deterioration in patient’s ability to function, and it is the first of its kind to show such promising results for patients with Alzheimer’s. Prothena is shown to remove up to 96% of what is called free serum alpha-synuclein, a protein whose expression is strongly linked to the onset and development of Parkinson’s. Both drugs significantly retarded the disintegration of brain capacity.
Better news is the faith in these new drugs is reflected in the increased stock price and the financial support each company has received for continuation of research and manufacture. Biogen reported a value of $100 billion dollars, which is quadruple its worth measured just three years ago.3 Reuters.com paraphrases Biogen CEO George Scangos’s words saying “he will keep Biogen focused on developing drugs for some of the hardest-to-treat diseases,” hoping to expand beyond the treatment of multiple sclerosis onto a slew of degenerative diseases. This may be a positive domino effect whereby the discovery of one positive leads to the discovery of many more. The rise in funding and support will allow Biogen to broaden their range of studies, a possibility that cannot be ignored.