December 9, 2023

Until last week, it seemed there was no answer to the puzzle of Alzheimer’s. The dominant theory of the disease, that it was caused by a build-up of beta amyloid plaque in the brain, was disproved by the failure of earlier drugs. But, in a surprise Tuesday evening, Biogen and partner Isai released positive results from a new therapy they were testing, lecanimab.

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The blunder sent 35% of Biogen’s shares and 32% of Isai’s shares in the week. Christian said the drug slowed cognitive decline in patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s by 27% after 18 months, a better outcome than those achieved by Biogen’s approved, if controversial, Alzheimer’s drug, EduHelm. “This basically appears to be a best case scenario and should lead to full FDA approval,” wrote Jefferies’ Michael Yee. Other analysts remained cautious.

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For Biogen, a failure would have revived talk of disbanding the biotech, while positive results could lead to a megablockbuster drug—and would have made it easier to hire a new CEO to replace the exiting Michel Vonatsos. Is. Mizuho analyst Salim Syed wrote that he is modeling $8 billion in peak annual worldwide sales of Lakenmab. Lecanemab’s profits will be split 50/50 between Biogen and Eisai.

The data also raises hope that Eli Lilly and Roche Holding drugs will also show efficacy in trials. UBS’ Michael Leuchten wrote that Roche’s Alzheimer’s drug, gentianumab, could see sales of $500 million to $10.5 billion in the fourth quarter, depending on expected results. Figures for Lille’s Donnemab come in the first half of 2023. Shares of Roche were up 4.57% for the week; Lillee gained 3.28%.

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Last week

recession, reality show

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The stock fell on fears of a global recession, which Ned Davis Research pegged at a 98% probability. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1% on Monday into bear-market territory, then advanced further on Tuesday. Case-Shiller said home prices fell 0.44% in August, the most since 2012, but new home sales increased. Ten-year yields fell by 4%, and jobless claims saw a five-month low. A midweek rally broke out. In the week, Dow industrialists declined 2.9% to 28,725.51; The S&P 500 fell 2.91% to 3585.62; And the Nasdaq Composite was down 2.69% at 10,575.62.

pound pounding

Britain’s pound sterling suffered a setback after the new Tory government announced debt-financed tax cuts. The currency hit record lows near parity with the dollar and euro, before the Bank of England said it would buy longer-term bonds to stabilize the crashing gilts. BoE’s move has stabilized the situation for now.

unhappy in russia

Russia occupied four areas in eastern Ukraine, even as Ukrainian forces moved to encircle Russian troops at Lyman in Donetsk. Protests broke out across Russia in response to the mobilization, and some draftable men fled by planes and cars. Europe considered new sanctions. The Kremlin continued to threaten the use of nuclear weapons, even as the US warned of “catastrophic consequences” if it employed them. Europe said the methane leak in Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic was caused by sabotage. Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to Edward Snowden, an NSA whistleblower who fled to Moscow to escape US charges.

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asteroid bull’s eye

A robotic NASA spacecraft, the DART, struck an asteroid at 14,000 mph in a near-Earth defense experiment. The asteroid, Dimorphos, orbits a large asteroid millions of miles from Earth. The result: livestreamed imagery of the effect and, of course, speculation on Twitter that it was fake. It would take weeks to determine how much of an impact DART had on the asteroid’s path.

In Ian’s Wake

Back on Earth, Tampa and the southwest coast of Florida were hit hard by slow-moving Hurricane Ian, leaving more than 2.4 million people without power. Ian roared as a Category 4 hurricane near Fort Myers, a massive hurricane, producing rain and wind, plowed through central Florida, and then headed for South Carolina.

History of Deal Making

Crypto exchange FTX wins asset rights to bankrupt Voyager Digital for $1.42 billion… investors buy shares in Porsche,
As the German auto maker went public at 82.5 euros ($80.27) per share, the top end of its expected range for a market value of €75 billion. Shares rose but ended flat in first day’s trading…Eleven Wall Street firms agreed to pay a $1.8 billion fine over SEC charges of “widespread off-channel communications”…Global M&A shrank for the third straight quarter.

write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected]