Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) shares soared after its Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 9Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss two actions that could also be winners with Biogen.


Keith Speights: Whenever there is big news as we have seen with the FDA approval of Biogen for Aduhelm in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, there is often sympathy with other actions. .

I noticed that Eli lilly (NYSE: LLY) stock, ticker ago LLY. Lilly stock jumped more than 10% earlier this week after the FDA’s approval decision was announced for Aduhelm. Do you think Lilly could be a winner in the Alzheimer’s disease drug market in the long run? Are there other stocks that investors might also want to check out?

Brian Orelli: Yes. Lilly has at least two drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, solanezumab, which reduced amyloid compared to placebo, but not at least a statistically significant amount in the study I reviewed. Then he has donanemab which appears to reduce amyloid plaques compared to placebo in the phase 2 study.

I think the idea is that if the FDA wants to make things better based only on removing the amyloid plaque, then maybe Lilly can come up with one or both of these drugs and try to get them approved. I am not sure. I guess I don’t agree with the FDA so I don’t know.

I suppose it might seem reasonable that Lilly made an offer on the news, but we have to see what Lilly actually wants to do. I think at this point it’s more a question of whether Lilly is actually of more value based on this news from the FDA.

So of course Eisai (OTC: ESALY), is that how you would say it, Eisai?

Speights: I think so.

Orelli: This is traded over-the-counter. Also enjoys approval as it is in partnership with Biogen on Aduhelm and other Alzheimer’s disease drugs.

Speights: Brian, do you think the FDA has granted fast-track approval for Aduhelm. Do you think this might make it easier for Lilly or others to get fast track approval?

Orelli: I don’t see why, although I think the difference maybe Biogen has this convoluted clinical trial data that also shows cognition improved in one study. Although they said he was arrested, data came out later that showed he was arrested because it was not working.

Because it didn’t seem like it was working, they then passed the data on and only looked at the patients who had a high level of the drug, and they showed it worked. Maybe it’s the missing thing that Lilly doesn’t have. I think that’s the question of whether Lilly can actually be approved for her medication.

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