Alzheimer’s R&D: A Journey

· TGI - Health


According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) drug developers have scrapped or halted development of 101 meds for the complex disorder “Alzheimer’s” and brought to market only three treatments for symptoms of the disease.

This should come as no surprise to those who have followed the recent late-stage disasters of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Pfizer’s ($PFEbapineuzumab and Eli Lilly‘s ($LLYsolanezumab. Do the math on PhRMA’s figures and from 1998 to 2011 you end up with a sad win-to-loss ratio of one to 34.

Yet PhRMA CEO John J. Castellani, whose group released two reports on the subject, backed further development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, and his group notes that there are 93 meds in the pipeline against the disease and other dementias. In fact, biopharma has shown no signs of letting up in the hunt for treatments against Alzheimer’s as there is a huge demand and blockbuster sales potential for new drugs.

“Setbacks in Alzheimer’s research that has history of about 13-years (between 1998 and 2011) are disappointing to many, including the scientists carrying out the studies, but these unsuccessful attempts are critical stepping stones to advancing our understanding of this extremely complex disease,” Castellani said in a statement.

“So-called failures are helping redirect research–providing new information that allows science to move forward.”

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