The Alzheimer's stocks riding on lecanemab's coat tails

Lecanemab's developers were among the biggest stock market beneficiaries of yesterday’s topline Clarity-D readout, but they were far from alone. Respectable gains were also seen from smaller Alzheimer’s players, though some jumps were easier to explain than others; Bioarctic has a real stake in lecanemab, for example. Prothena’s advance feels speculative considering its work in Alzheimer’s is so early. Bristol Myers Squibb exercised an option over PRX005 last year, cornering US rights to a Tau-directed MAb, while Prothena claims tenfold greater binding potency than aducanumab for PRX012. Vivoryon, formerly known as Probiodrug, has a novel approach that could yield data next year: its varoglutamstat is claimed to work by preventing the formation of N3pE amyloid, rather than trying to clear plaques from the brain like the MAbs. Other companies sit more on the fringes, incuding Cyclo, whose work is based on the theory that high cholesterol is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, while Cognition says CT1812 is designed to displace toxic protein oligomers on neurons. Investors have a history of getting overexcited in Alzheimer's, of course, so further successes in this space are also likely to be widely felt. 

Riding on lecanemab's coat tails
Company Alzheimer's exposure  Status Share price reaction* Market cap gain
Bioarctic  Originator of lecanemab, owed €200m+ in milestones and single-digit royalties Ph3 Clarity AD succeeded 173% $1.2bn
Acumen  ACU193, anti-amyloid-beta oligomer MAb Top-line results from Ph1 Intercept-AD due H1'23 104% $198m
Prothena/Bristol Myers Squibb PRX005 licensed to Bristol (anti-Tau MAb); PRX012 still wholly owned (anti-amyloid-beta MAb) Ph1 trials said to have started for both, no trial listing found 88% $1.3bn
Vivoryon  Varoglutamstat (PQ912), oral QPCT/L inhibitor  Ph2b Viviad study ongoing in EU; Ph2a/b Viva-Mind study ongoing in US 25% $41m
AC Immune Pipeline of anti-Tau and anti-amyloid-beta projects, deals with Roche, Lilly and J&J Ph2 crenezumab trial failed this year; Abate study of anti-amyloid beta vaccine ongoing  24% $50m
Morphosys  Originator of gantenerumab, owed milestones and single-digit royalties Ph3 data due from Graduate programme Q4'22 23% $152m
Cyclo Therapeutics Developing Trappsol Cyclo, formulation of hydroxypropyl beta cyclodextrin2 Ph2 planned to start later this year  17% $3m
Anavex Developing blarcamesine, a Sigma-1 agonist   Ph2b/3 Anavex2-73-AD-004 readout due H2'22 13% $93m 
Alector Developing AL002, targeting Trem2, being developed with Abbvie  Ph2 Invoke-2 ongoing  12% $83m
Cognition Therapeutics Developing CT1812, a Sigma-2 ligand Ph2 Shine study started 2022 7% $3m
Change on September 28, 2022. Source: Evaluate Pharma & company communications. 


The big hitters
Company Lead Alzheimer's project Share price move Market cap gain
Eisai Lecanemab 17% $2bn
Biogen  Lecanemab, Aduhelm 40% $11bn
Lilly  Donanemab 8% $22bn 
Roche Gantenerumab 4% $11bn
Change on September 28, 2022. Source: Evaluate Pharma.

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