Biogen tosses out Parkinson's hopeful cinpanemab, pays $75M for its syn

Biogen HQ

As Biogen hopes and prays for a (now delayed) FDA approval of its controversial Alzheimer’s disease hopeful aducanumab, a key, closely watched pipeline asset has failed and been tossed out.

Buried in its annual results (PDF) published Wednesday morning, Biogen said the phase 2 study of BIIB054 (cinpanemab) in Parkinson’s disease “did not achieve proof-of-concept” and missed its primary and secondary endpoints

Biogen said it has now discontinued development of the drug and “will apply learnings to future efforts in Parkinson’s disease.”

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As part of that cull, the pharma took a GAAP impairment charge of around $75 million during the fourth quarter.

Cinpanemab, which works as an anti-alpha synuclein (syn) monoclonal antibody, was being studied in the midstage SPARK study, with its primary endpoint being MDS-UPDRS total score, a measure of impairment and disability, versus a dummy treatment.

It was looking to rival Roche and Prothena’s syn drug prasinezumab, although this too has been beset by setbacks as it recently failed to beat placebo on MDS-UPDRS total score, although it saw enough to continue on with development. This follows a string of experimental drug failures over the years in Parkinson's R&D.

The drug had been a key weapon in Biogen’s arsenal but now hits the scrap heap at a time when its full-year guidance rests, literally, on the approval of aducanumab, which was rejected by the FDA’s expert panel late last year.