Adu-CAN-umab? Reading The Tea Leaves For Biogen’s US Filing For Alzheimer’s Drug
The US Food and Drug Administration is expediting the review for Biogen’s Alzheimer’s therapy aducanumab, setting up a likely November/December advisory committee consideration that in normal times would be the dominant topic for those who care about the agency.
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The aducanumab review involved everything sponsors might think they could want from the US FDA, with the agency taking a hands on approach to expedite a complex and difficult review in hopes of delivering an important new therapy to patients as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, in this case, FDA seems to have expedited the review right over a cliff.
Given inconsistent study results, robustness of the efficacy evidence is expected to be key focus of the 6 November meeting of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee; review could put a December 2019 guidance on the ‘substantial evidence’ standard to the test and offer insight into the amount of flexibility the agency is willing to exercise for neurodegenerative diseases with high unmet need.
Nine of the 70 medicines for unmet medical needs that have to date won a place on the European Medicines Agency’s PRIME scheme are now approved for sale in the EU, and two more approvals are expected soon. Meanwhile, most applications for a "priority medicine" designation are still missing the mark.