By Kosaku Narioka

 

Eisai Co. shares were indicated sharply higher Wednesday morning after the Japanese drug maker and Biogen Inc. said their experimental Alzheimer's disease drug significantly slowed progression of the disease in a large study.

The shares were indicated 17% higher at Y6,784 ($46.85). No trades have taken place because buy orders overwhelmed sell orders even at the upper-end of the day's trading range.

Eisai and Biogen said Wednesday that their drug, lecanemab, reduced cognitive and functional decline by 27%, compared with a placebo, over 18 months in a Phase 3 study of 1,800 patients with early-stage Alzheimer's.

The late-stage study had been eagerly anticipated by researchers and investors after the failed launch of Aduhelm, which was also developed by Eisai and Biogen.

Last year, Aduhelm became the first new Alzheimer's treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in nearly two decades. But the drug's commercial prospects were doomed by a Medicare decision in April to refuse routine coverage of it.

The Topix subindex for pharmaceutical companies was recently down 0.2%, while the Nikkei Stock Average was 1.0% lower.

 

Write to Kosaku Narioka at kosaku.narioka@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2022 21:50 ET (01:50 GMT)

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