Industry Trend Analysis - Dynamic Pipeline for Alzheimer's Treatments - OCT 2017

BMI View: The Alzheimer ' s disease pipeline is displaying dynamism , with investment from large pharmaceutical companies and a number of compounds in late-stage development. Those in earlier stages, some of which were reported on at the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2017), demonstrate the variety of mechanisms being tested in the attempt to develop disease-modifying treatment. The lengthening list of Alzheimer's disease trial failures indicates the risk, but success will attract licensing or acquisition interest.

The current Alzheimer's disease drug pipeline is dynamic, spurred on by ageing populations and the unmet medical need for disease-modifying treatment. In July 2017, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) noted that there were 143 projects in development for Alzheimer's disease. Certain challenges have deterred investment in central nervous system drug development and seen companies retreat from the field, with the closure of neuroscience divisions and CNS operations downsized, and other therapeutic areas viewed more favourably. Nevertheless, Alzheimer's disease has attracted investment from big pharma such as Merck & Co, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Roche.

The late-stage pipeline is dominated by beta-secretase (BACE) inhibitors and anti-amyloid beta (anti-Abeta) antibodies, however BMI has noted that the Alzheimer's disease vaccine pipeline is progressing, with a focus on mild disease/prodromal/asymptomatic patients that will drive demand for technologies that support early detection ( see ' Alzheimer's Vaccine Pipeline Is Gaining Momentum ' , July 11 2017). Furthermore, presentations at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2017), held in July, in London, the UK, demonstrated the range of approaches that are being taken in an attempt to tackle this disease. AAIC unites the world's researchers, next generation investigators, clinicians and the care research community to share discoveries in basic and translational research that will lead to methods of prevention and treatment, and improvements in diagnosis for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

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