Pfizer Inc.'s Avoidable Alzheimer's Drug Failure

Published: Jul 30, 2012

Earlier this week, Pfizer announced the failure of the first Phase III trial of the anti-amyloid antibody bapineuzumab — “bapi” for short — as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Pfizer announced the news unilaterally, without partners Elan and Johnson & Johnson, which suggests that the syndicate disagreed about how and when to communicate the data. Nonetheless, the press release clearly implies that even the industry’s best statistical pickaxes couldn’t unearth a “spin-able” result. I expect bapi’s remaining pivotal studies, as well as those conducted by Eli Lilly — the company is conducting Phase III trials of a similar drug, called solanezumab — will fail over the next few months.

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