High doses of drugs, Alzheimer's, and Elan
Elan and partner Transition Therapeutics
Patients taking the 250 mg dose will continue in the study, but the chance of the drug working well has diminished greatly. Almost all drugs are more effective at higher doses and drug companies try to find the sweet spot where efficacy is high, but side effects haven't kicked in yet. For some drugs, that sweet spot just doesn't exist. For instance, Human Genome Sciences
Investors should know sometime in the latter half of next year whether the 250 mg dose worked. Whether it flops or not won't matter that much to Elan though; its near-term future will be determined by bapineuzumab and Tysabri.
The first of the phase 3 trials for bapineuzumab, which is partnered with Johnson & Johnson
For multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, Elan and partner Biogen Idec
Investors who think one or both of the drugs will succeed can get Elan on sale today. Shares are down 2.5% at the moment, well off the broader market indexes. Of course, Transition Therapeutics' shares are down more than 40% today. But then, it's a development-stage biotech, not an established player like Elan.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Pfizer is a Inside Value pick. Johnson & Johnson is a Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.