Wall Street is ditching amyloid-based Alzheimer’s drugs — it shouldn’t, scientists say

After Biogen Inc. BIIB, +1.64% announced last week it was discontinuing Phase 3 trials of a potential blockbuster Alzheimer’s drug, Mizuho analyst Salim Syed declared, “Aducanumab is dead, and we’d argue so is the beta-amyloid hypothesis.”

Other analysts agreed. Biogen’s news, along with Roche’s discontinuation of two amyloid-based trials in January, “nearly close the door on the amyloid hypothesis,” SVB Leerink’s Marc Goodman wrote in a note on Thursday. Baird analyst Brian Skorney said in another note that the failure of aducanumab “should be the final nail in the coffin.”

Alzheimer’s researchers disagree.

The so-called amyloid hypothesis holds that the buildup of sticky protein fragments called beta amyloid plays a primary role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

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