Novartis and Amgen abandon their Bace

All attempts to treat Alzheimer’s disease with anti-amyloid drugs have ended in failure, and Novartis and Amgen’s Bace1 inhibitor CNP520 is no different. The partners, along with their academic partner, the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, have canned the asset after some patients had worsening of cognitive function. This has been seen with other Bace inhibitors; Eli Lilly cited such concerns when it scrapped a couple of similar assets last year. Also known as umibecestat, CNP520 was being tested in two phase III trials in preventative settings. The Generation S1 trial was testing CNP520 along with Novartis’s amyloid vaccine ACD106, and the Generation S2 study tested CNP520 alone; together they were set to enrol more than 3,000 patients. The situation is not great for Novartis but far worse for Amgen – to get the CNP520 collaboration Amgen granted Novartis joint marketing rights to the migraine drug Aimovig. The news raises the pressure on Biogen and Eisai, which have somewhat controversially pushed on with their Bace inhibitor, elenbecestat. This project is also in phase III, with data expected at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference next week

Phase III trials of CNP520 and elenbecestat
Companies Drug Acronym N Trial ID
Novartis/Amgen CNP520/ umibecestat Generation S1 1,340 NCT02565511
    Generation S2 2,000 NCT03131453
Biogen/Eisai  Elenbecestat  MissionAD1 950 NCT02956486
    MissionAD2 950 NCT03036280
Source: EvaluatePharma.

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