Two Phase 3 failures put nail in the coffin for Lundbeck Alzheimer’s drug

pharmafile | February 9, 2017 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Alzheimer's, Lundbeck, idalopirdine 

Danish pharma firm Lundbeck has announced the failure of two Phase 3 trials investigating its experimental Alzheimer’s treatment idalopirdine; the news is another nail in the coffin after the company and partner Otsuka noted weak trial results last year.

According to the company, the three studies of the drug failed to “demonstrate efficacy as observed in the positive clinical Phase II study and hence do not suffice to support a regulatory submission.”

Idalopirdine is a 5-HT6 antagonist designed to confront symptoms of Alzheimer’s symptoms, a divergent approach to other treatments in the sphere such as those from MSD and Eli Lilly which tackle progression of the disease.

The drug was awarded fast-track designation by the FDA in 2016; its failure follows the ill-fated path of Pfizer’s own 5-HT6 receptor antagonist PF-05212377 last year, and sheds doubt on the efficacy of the approach as a whole for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

Despite this heavy blow and a dive in Lundbeck’s shares, CEO Kåre Schultz has been optimistic about the company’s prospects for 2017:  “I am pleased with our strong operational performance in 2016 where we have delivered results that exceeded our own expectations. I am confident that we can deliver on our targets for the coming years.”

Matt Fellows

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