Evotec, Roche announce failure of late-stage Alzheimer’s candidate

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Evotec, Roche announce failure of late-stage Alzheimer’s candidate

Related tags Pharmaceutical industry

In another setback for Alzheimer’s drug developers, European CRO/biotech Evotec and partner Roche have announced that their candidate did not meet its primary endpoint after 52 weeks treatment in a Phase IIb study.

The potential treatment – Sembragiline, which is a MAO-B inhibitor -- failed to demonstrate benefit on the primary endpoint, though preliminary safety analyses showed it was well tolerated.

Roche is now evaluating all secondary endpoint read-outs on Sembragiline and will consider further development options, Evotec said. The company downplayed the drug candidate’s failure, noting that it will not impact its annual financial guidance.

Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec, added: "Clearly disappointing news that Sembragiline didn't reach its primary endpoint but Alzheimer's is one of the biggest medical challenges of our times, and will remain a priority for Evotec and our partners. Strategically, this programme represents one out of more than 70 product opportunities within our portfolio in the fields of CNS and pain, metabolic diseases, oncology and anti-infectives​."

In the last half year, Evotec has cashed in on some of its strategic partnerships​, and most recently, in March, forged a five-year, €250m deal with Sanofi, with €40m coming upfront.

Evotec also said it still expects R&D expenses for the year to grow to between €15m and €20m.

Related topics Clinical Development

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