Better Than A-Beta? Looking Ahead in the Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease


  • Joel Sandler, PhD, Associate Principal, Cello Health BioConsulting, formerly Defined Health


AD is among the most striking examples of a disease characterized by both enormous unmet need and formidable clinical risk, simultaneously driving Pharma both into and out of the field in dramatic fashion. The recent announcement that partners Biogen and Eisai would be discontinuing further clinical study of aducanumab, followed quickly on its heels by Eisai’s decision to commence yet another Phase 3 trial for a different but related candidate, triggered a complex set of reactions, ranging from confusion and dismay to knowing satisfaction, outright anger and, above all, disappointment for patients and their caregivers (not to mention a precipitous drop in both companies’ market caps). The latest in a long line of high-profile failures from this drug class has many wondering whether the amyloid hypothesis should be revisited or scrapped altogether in favor of alternative paradigms and therapeutic strategies. While investment dollars continue to flow in support of innovative biotechs pursuing novel technologies, there are conflicting opinions about where the next waves are coming from, and how to de-risk extant programs with lessons learned from recent failures. With so many important questions to be addressed, please join us for a critical discussion about how the field can and should move forward in the face of so much defeat, demand, and opportunity.