Biogen’s shares may have been halted just ahead of its aducanumab approval, but Eli Lilly’s shares reaped the benefits.
And Lilly wasn't alone. Aducanumab's green light after a nearly two-decade drought in Alzheimer’s treatments fueled surges for other companies trying to tackle the disease.
Eli Lilly, which has its own Alzheimer’s disease candidate, a monoclonal antibody dubbed donanemab, saw its shares jump 10.65% as of 12:55 p.m. ET. The Big Pharma revealed phase 2 data in March showing the drug can help clear brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients, but clinical significance and safety issues remain unclear.
Eisai, Biogen's partner on aducanumab and a follow-up monoclonal antibody to treat AD, saw its shares skyrocket nearly 54% as of 12:38 p.m. ET.
Synaptogenix, which has a lead compound in an extended clinical trial aimed at reducing amyloid, experienced a decline of 0.86% as of 12:55 p.m. The biopharmaceutical welcomed the positive news for Biogen.
"We applaud the significant commitment that Biogen has made towards developing a new treatment option for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Their dedication and persistence to finding a therapy deserves acknowledgement and gratitude,” said Daniel Alkon, M.D., president and chief scientific officer, in a statement following the FDA approval.
Companies approaching Alzheimer’s from the neuroprotection agents angle saw shares modestly increase. Biohaven Pharma shares went up 3% while Athira Pharma shares were driven higher at almost 15% and Cassava Sciences by more than 10%.
In the stem cell and gene therapy landscape, Longeveron also seemed to benefit from today’s long-awaited FDA approval. The company’s shares shot up about 13% to $7.77.
There’s also a whole host of private companies and startups building up Alzheimer’s treatment pipelines. It is yet to be seen what the FDA’s approval will mean for venture capital, biotech IPOs and the SPAC world.