Alzheimer's Disease

Our world-class neurology research and development organization is pushing towards novel approaches for previously intractable neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

We view Alzheimer’s disease as an area where we can make a tremendous difference in the lives of patients. Today there are no treatments to prevent, delay or stop the disease progression.   

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological illness that impairs thinking and independence of millions of people worldwide.1 Today, more than 5 million Americans and more than 40 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and these numbers are growing rapidly. 

This disease destroys not only quality of life but also quantity – it is the 3rd leading cause of mortality in people over 65, behind cancer and heart disease. 

Alzheimer’s disease is usually diagnosed in people 65 and older, but it starts earlier with subtle neurological changes occurring years or even decades before symptoms appear.  Many people are experiencing the early, often unrecognized, signs of mild cognitive impairment.

 

Biogen has made a long-term commitment to furthering Alzheimer’s disease research and treatment. Our vision is to redefine Alzheimer’s Disease through innovative medicines to improve the lives of patients and their caregivers. 

With an emphasis on early-stage disease, our research programs target several of the identified causes, amyloid and tau pathology – proteins believed to play a critical role in Alzheimer’s disease development. These programs range from preclinical experiments to Phase 3 clinical trials. 

Our lead Alzheimer’s disease candidate, currently under development, is aducanumab, the first investigational drug to slow progression and reduce biological evidence of disease in an early clinical trial. We hope that aducanumab will be the first approved therapy to meaningfully change the course of Alzheimer’s Disease and significantly improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients and their families. 

Below you’ll find our current investigational therapies in Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Investigational candidates in Alzheimer's disease

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  • Aducanumab (Aβ mAb)

    Alzheimer’s disease

    Developed in collaboration with Neurimmune.

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages healthy cells in the brain causing cognitive impairment and functional disability. It is estimated that more than 25 million individuals are living with AD worldwide1.

    Today we understand that AD is a continuum with a long silent phase that begins years before symptoms appear. As AD progresses, symptoms like memory loss, personality and behavioral changes commonly associated with AD begin to manifest.

     

    How this investigational therapy could help:

    The memory loss and functional decline of Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to amyloid plaques, abnormal protein deposits that build up in  the brain. Aducanumab is an antibody that binds to and may reduce amyloid plaques from the brain, potentially slowing the progress of the disease.

    Learn more about EMERGE and ENGAGE, clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease

     

    1 World Health Organization Dementia a Public Health Priority. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/. Accessed 23 May 2016.

  • E2609 (BACE1 inhibitor)

    Alzheimer's disease

    Developed in collaboration with Eisai Co., Ltd.

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages healthy cells in the brain causing cognitive impairment and functional disability. It is estimated that more than 25 million individuals are living with AD worldwide1.

    Today we understand that AD is a continuum with a long silent phase that begins years before symptoms appear. As AD progresses, symptoms like memory loss, personality and behavioral changes commonly associated with AD begin to manifest.

     

    How this investigational therapy could help:

    The memory loss and functionality decline of Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to amyloid plaques, abnormal protein deposits that build up in the brain. E2609 is a small-molecule inhibitor of beta-secretase, a protein that cleaves enzyme 1 (BACE1). By inhibiting BACE1, E2609 blocks amyloid production, potentially slowing the progress of the disease.

    1 World Health Organization Dementia a Public Health Priority. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/. Accessed 23 May 2016.

  • BAN2401 (Aβ mAb)

    Alzheimer’s disease

    Developed in collaboration with Eisai Co., Ltd.

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages healthy cells in the brain causing cognitive impairment and functional disability. It is estimated that more than 25 million individuals are living with AD worldwide1.

    Today we understand that AD is a continuum with a long silent phase that begins years before symptoms appear. As AD progresses, symptoms like memory loss, personality and behavioral changes commonly associated with AD begin to manifest.

     

    How this investigational therapy could help:

    The memory loss and functionality decline of Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to amyloid plaques, abnormal protein deposits that build up in the brain. BAN2401 is an antibody that binds to amyloid, which could reduce its presence in the brain and potentially slow the progress of the disease.

     

    1 World Health Organization Dementia a Public Health Priority. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/. Accessed 23 May 2016.

  • BIIB076

    Alzheimer's disease

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages healthy cells in the brain causing cognitive impairment and functional disability. It is estimated that more than 25 million individuals are living with AD worldwide1.

    Today we understand that AD is a continuum with a long silent phase that begins years before symptoms appear. As AD progresses, symptoms like memory loss, personality and behavioral changes commonly associated with AD begin to manifest.

     

    How this investigational therapy could help:

    The memory loss and functional decline of AD have been linked to abnormal protein deposits that build up in the brain. Among those proteins are amyloid and tau. Deposits of abnormal tau, so-called neurofibrillary tangles, form in the neurons and are linked to increasing impairment and loss of brain cells associated both with AD and with other neurodegenerative diseases, known as tauopathies, such as progressive supranuclear palsy and frontotemporal dementia. BIIB076 is an antibody targeting tau, the protein that forms the deposits, or tangles, in the brain.

    1 World Health Organization Dementia a Public Health Priority. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/. Accessed 23 May 2016.

  • BIIB080 (IONIS-MAPTRx)

    Alzheimer's disease

    Developed in collaboration with Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages healthy cells in the brain causing cognitive impairment and functional disability. It is estimated that more than 25 million individuals are living with AD worldwide1. Today we understand that AD is a continuum with a long silent phase that begins years before symptoms appear. As AD progresses, symptoms like memory loss, personality and behavioral changes commonly associated with AD begin to manifest.

     

    How this investigational therapy could help:

    The memory loss and functional decline of Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to amyloid plaques and tau tangles, abnormal protein deposits that build up in the brain and in the brain cells. BIIB080 (IONIS-MAPTRx) is an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) that may reduce production of the tau protein and its accumulation in brain cells, potentially slowing the progress of the disease.

    Learn more about the BIIB080 (IONIS-MAPTRx) clinical trial

    1World Health Organization Dementia a Public Health Priority. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/. Accessed 23 May 2016. 

  • BIIB092

    Alzheimer's disease

    Licensed from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages healthy cells in the brain causing cognitive impairment and functional disability. It is estimated that more than 25 million individuals are living with AD worldwide1.

    Today we understand that AD is a continuum with a long silent phase that begins years before symptoms appear. As AD progresses, symptoms like memory loss, personality and behavioral changes commonly associated with AD begin to manifest.

     

    How this investigational therapy could help:

    The memory loss and functional decline of AD have been linked to abnormal protein deposits that build up in the brain. Among those proteins are amyloid and tau. Deposits of abnormal tau, so-called neurofibrillary tangles, form in the neurons and are linked to increasing impairment and loss of brain cells associated both with AD and with other neurodegenerative diseases, known as tauopathies, such as progressive supranuclear palsy and frontotemporal dementia. BIIB092 is an antibody targeting extracellular tau and may reduce the spreading of tau from one cell to the next, potentially slowing the progress of the disease.

    1 World Health Organization Dementia a Public Health Priority. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/. Accessed 23 May 2016.

Clinical Trials

In partnership with the medical community and patient advocacy groups, Biogen encourages clinical trial enrollment for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Biogen conducts clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of investigational therapies in our pipeline, including Alzheimer’s disease.

View all recruiting Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials

Deciding to participate in a clinical trial requires careful consideration. In most cases, the therapies investigated in clinical trials are not yet approved by regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. The benefits and risks of taking the treatment are not completely known. By volunteering for a clinical trial, you are helping the medical community determine whether new treatments are safe and effective.

Learn more about clinical trials and access programs

For additional questions, contact our Patient Center at patientcenter@biogen.com.