Investors Hold Their Breath for the "Most Important Event in Biotech"—Here are 5 Stocks to Watch

Investors Hold Their Breath for the November 16, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

In the first week of December, investors are going to be looking closely at the Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference being held in San Diego. At least five companies are expected to make presentations about ongoing Alzheimer’s drug clinical trials that could have a major impact on company stocks. Let’s take a look.

1. Eli Lilly

Although tentative, Eli Lilly is expected to present data on December 8 on its Expedition Phase III trial of solanezumab. It’s also possible, however, that the company will choose to present the data later at a meeting in 2017.

Michael Yee, an analyst with RBC, wrote in a note to investors that there is a 30 to 40 percent chance of positive, statistically significant data from the trial, and if so, “investors will get more bullish on Alzheimer’s and ‘innovation’ in biotech.”

Positive data would also provide scientists with much-needed support that beta-amyloid plaques are the primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Biogen

Biogen is scheduled to present data on December 9 from its Phase Ib trial of aducanumab. Aducanumab is a human recombinant monoclonal antibody. The Phase I PRIME study was designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD) and clinical effects of the drug in patients with prodromal or mild Alzheimer’s. It is also presenting data from a 24-month extension study, as well as the 12-month titration study.

3. Novartis and Amgen

Novartis and Amgen will discuss their “efforts at pairing Alzheimer’s patients with trials based in part on genetics.” Amgen’s drug, a BACE inhibitor, blocks the buildup of beta-amyloid. Novartis’s CNP520 is the lead molecule.

4. Roche and Genentech

Roche /Genentech are also expected to present posters on a Phase II trial of crenezumab, which will evaluate higher-dose response in prodromal and mild Alzheimer’s patients. That symposium is titled, “Time-to-Event Endpoints for Clinical Trials in Early Alzheimer’s Disease.”

5. Axovant

Axovant will also be presenting a study titled, “Drug Interaction between Intepirdine (RVT-101), a 5-HT6 Receptor Antagonist, and Memantine in Healthy Subjects.”

The CDAT conference is likely to present quite a bit of other data of interest to Alzheimer’s scientists as well as investors. But for some companies, the results are likely to impact the stock market.

Yee says, “We believe this event will be an important near-term driver to potentially rally biotech higher and really take another leg up and bring in more generalists to the space.”

Keynote speakers also include Paul Aisen, director of the University of Southern California Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute; Randall Bateman, the Charlies F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine; Maria Carrillo, chief science officer, Medical and Scientific Relations, at the Alzheimer’s Association; Nick Fox, professor of Clinical Neurology and director of the Dementia Research Centre at UCL’s Institute of Neurology and Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square London; and David Michelson, vice president and head of clinical neuroscience for Merck Research Laboratories.

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