Behind the 40% jump

Source: iStock, Morning Wrap

On Monday, Biogen’s new drug won approval from the US drug regulator, pushing its stock 40% higher, Nasdaq 0.5% higher… and bringing new hope to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

In simple words, what happened?

Alzheimer's is a neurological disease (usually in the elderly) that could gradually erode patients’ memory, thinking, and speaking ability. As of today, scientists are still unsure about the cause of this disease… so Alzheimer’s is incurable. 😥

  • Aducanumab - Biogen’s new drug - is the first medication approved in the past 20 years. 

But the approval is controversial as the drug only has incomplete evidence to show its efficacy. It was still approved for use because the regulator thinks “benefits > risks”.

  • As an approval condition, the drug needs to conduct further human-body trials to prove its effectiveness... or the regulator has the right to revoke its approval.

This could be something big 🤔

Reuters described Monday as a “big day” for Alzheimer’s patients. Look at the two numbers and we can know why. 

  • 30 mln people globally are suffering from Alzheimer's, and the number is expected to double by 2050.
  • USD 56,000 per year - this is how much the drug is priced. Do a simple calculation… that’s a multi-bln market.

+ In addition to Biogen: its Japanese partner Eisai also jumped 20% - its one-day limit on Tuesday following the approval.

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