Johnson & Johnson Isn't Giving Up on Alzheimer Drug

Published: Nov 13, 2012

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) hasn’t given up on the ability of its experimental drug bapineuzumab to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease, even after two key studies failed to find a benefit, the company’s neuroscience unit head said. Researchers are still reviewing the disappointing studies, looking to see whether there are signs the drug may slow the progression of dementia if taken earlier, said Husseini Manji, head of neuroscience at J&J, the world’s biggest maker of health-care products. Additional analysis is also being done on its ability to reduce tau, a tangled protein found in the brains of those with the mind-robbing disease, he said in an interview. "We remain optimistic there is something there,” Manji said yesterday in an interview at a conference hosted by the London School of Business. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is expecting to see more data in the “next few months” on intravenous bapineuzumab from studies conducted by New York-based Pfizer Inc. (PFE), its partner on the drug, Manji said. The companies will decide how to continue development of the experimental medicine based on the results of the Pfizer studies and the separate findings from mid-stage studies of another version of the drug given as a shot instead of intravenously, he said.

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