Sembragiline - Roche

Alzheimer's disease remains the Holy Grail for Big Pharma, but sembragiline's failure underscores just how hard it is developing drugs for this disease.

Roche's ($RHHBY) latest attempt to develop a new drug for Alzheimer's has gone the way of gantenerumab. It too failed a key study.

The drug, part of a class used to treat Parkinson's disease, is designed to safeguard dopamine by targeting an enzyme--monoamine oxidase type B, or MAO-B--that breaks it down. But investigators said last July that the drug failed to demonstrate a cognitive benefit in patients after 52 weeks of therapy. 

For Alzheimer's patients and drug development advocates, the setback underscored the difficulty in matching the theory with the disease. In Alzheimer's, no one is completely sure what's going on. But with millions of patients desperate for some sort of new therapy, Roche and others will keep trying.

For more:
Roche forced to concede another flop for Alzheimer's program

Sembragiline - Roche
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