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Biogen Alzheimer’s drug launch off to slow start

Seven months after US drug regulators fully approved Biogen’s treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, only about 2,000 patients are taking the medicine nationwide, the company said Tuesday.

Biogen’s chief executive, Christopher A. Viehbacher, said as the firm released fourth-quarter earnings that he had expected the slow uptake and sees considerable demand for the medication. He told reporters that 3,800 patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s have signed up on multiple registries to receive the drug, called Leqembi, as of last month.


Before patients can get the drug, which costs $26,500-a-year, they must undergo a brain scan or a spinal tap to confirm that they have build-up of deposits of a sticky toxic protein called beta-amyloid that is a hallmark of the disease.

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