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2 Stocks That Could Be Winners in Alzheimer's Disease Along With Biogen

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Updated Jun 25, 2021 at 5:00PM

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One is Biogen's partner. The other is a potential rival.

Biogen (BIIB 1.02%) stock skyrocketed after its Alzheimer's disease drug Aduhelm won U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 9, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss two stocks that could also be winners along with Biogen. 

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Keith Speights: Anytime there's big news like we've seen with Biogen's FDA approval for Aduhelm in treating Alzheimer's disease, there are a lot of times there's sympathy moves with other stocks.

I noticed that Eli Lilly (LLY 0.35%) stock, ticker there is LLY. Lilly stock jumped by more than 10% earlier this week after the FDA approval decision for Aduhelm was announced. Do you think Lilly might be a winner in Alzheimer's disease drug market over the long run? Are there any other stocks investors might want to check out as well?

Brian Orelli: Yeah. Lilly has two Alzheimer's disease drugs at least, solanezumab, which reduced amyloid compared to placebo, but not statistically significant amount at least in the study that I looked at. Then it has a donanemab which appears to reduce amyloid plaques compared to placebo in the phase 2 study.

I think the idea is that if the FDA is going to improve things just based on amyloid plaque removal, then maybe Lilly can submit one or both of these drugs and try to get them approved. I'm not sure. I guess I don't agree with the FDA, so I don't know.

I guess maybe it does seem reasonable that Lilly got bid up on the news, but we have to see what Lilly actually wants to do. I think it's more of a guess at this point on whether Lilly is actually more valuable based on this FDA news.

Then of course Eisai (ESALY 0.93%), is that how you'd say it, Eisai?

Speights: I think so.

Orelli: That trades over-the-counter. Also benefits from the approval because it's partnered with Biogen on Aduhelm, and other Alzheimer's disease drugs.

Speights: Brian, do you think the fact that the FDA has granted accelerated approval for Aduhelm. Do you think that might make it easier for Lilly or others to win accelerated approval as well?

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

Because it didn't seem like it was working and then they passed the data and looked at only the patients who got a high level of the drug, and they showed that it works. Maybe that's the missing thing that Lilly doesn't have. I think that's the question over whether Lilly can actually get approved for its drugs.

Brian Orelli, PhD has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Biogen. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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