Biogen and Eisai remain committed after discontinuation of ENGAGE and EMERGE programmes

22 March 2019 – Pharmaceutical companies Biogen and Eisai have announced the discontinuation of two Phase 3 trials of aducanumab. The decision came after analysis by an independent monitoring committee indicated the trials were unlikely to succeed. Biogen and Eisai will continue to investigate other treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, including anti-amyloid treatment BAN2401.

Michel Vounatsos, Chief Executive Officer at Biogen, said:

“This disappointing news confirms the complexity of treating Alzheimer’s disease and the need to further advance knowledge in neuroscience.  We are incredibly grateful to all the Alzheimer’s disease patients, their families and the investigators who participated in the trials and contributed greatly to this research. Biogen’s history has been based on pioneering innovation, learning from successes and setbacks. […] We will continue advancing our pipeline of potential therapies in Alzheimer’s disease and innovative medicines.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, the collective term for a range of degenerative neurological conditions that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. There is no cure for dementia and has been no new treatment for the symptoms of dementia since 2002.

ADI is reassured that Biogen and Eisai remain committed to the field and will continue with other research into treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Detailed data from the ENGAGE and EMERGE studies will be presented at future medical meetings to inform ongoing research.

Paola Barbarino, Chief Executive Officer of ADI, said:

“Although we are of course disappointed by the news from these particular trials, we must consider what has been learned and continue to do everything we can to support those affected by dementia around the world. We are reassured by the ongoing commitment of Biogen and Eisai to develop treatments and diagnosis methods to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their families.”

More investment is needed to support research on dementia across all key areas: basic science, care improvements, prevention and risk reduction, drug development and public health. Read more in the World Alzheimer Report 2018 and join our Global webinars on research participation.