Roche drops Alzheimer drug trials after setback

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche Holding will halt two late-stage clinical trials of its crenezumab drug in early Alzheimer’s disease after an interim analysis indicated it was unlikely to hits its primary goal, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday.

Roche was working on the product with AC Immune.

Roche said an Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) study of crenezumab in familial Alzheimer’s disease continued and that it remained committed to ongoing clinical studies in Alzheimer’s disease, including phase-III trials with gantenerumab and a phase-II anti-tau trial.

AC Immune Chief Executive Andrea Pfeifer said the company was “extremely disappointed” by the news.

“We continue to be optimistic about the potential future of crenezumab as we await the outcome of the Colombian API study to prevent AD symptoms in patients with familial AD to see if the antibody treatment may provide disease-modifying effects in patients with early-onset disease,” she added.

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by John Miller and Maria Sheahan

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