Biogen’s C.E.O. will step down following disastrous launch of Alzheimer’s drug.


Biogen mentioned on Tuesday that it’ll substitute its chief government and successfully hand over on advertising and marketing a high-profile Alzheimer’s drug that has been a industrial failure since its controversial approval almost a yr in the past.

Michel Vounatsos, who has led the drug maker for over 5 years and presided over the approval and launch of the drug, generally known as Aduhelm, will stay in his function till a successor is appointed, Biogen mentioned.

Biogen mentioned it deliberate to “considerably eradicate” its spending on the drug after Medicare finalized a choice final month to sharply restrict its protection of Aduhelm.

The Meals and Drug Administration permitted Aduhelm in June. It was the primary new therapy for Alzheimer’s in almost 20 years. It had been broadly anticipated to change into a blockbuster drug inside a number of years, producing billions of {dollars} yearly for Biogen. However the approval was overshadowed by concern concerning the drug’s unproven advantages and critical security dangers, in addition to concerning the course of by which the F.D.A. had greenlighted it.

Docs, insurers and sufferers and their households haven’t embraced Aduhelm. On Tuesday, Biogen reported that the drug introduced in simply $2.eight million in income within the first three months of this yr, after producing solely $three million in 2021. Biogen initially priced the drug at $56,000 per yr for the typical affected person earlier than halving the associated fee in response to weak early gross sales.

Aduhelm had been anticipated to pressure authorities well being budgets. However Medicare determined to pay for the drug just for individuals who obtain it as contributors in a scientific trial. Final month, Biogen mentioned it might withdraw its utility to market the drug within the European Union after drug reviewers indicated that it was unlikely to win approval.

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