Stories by Bob Herman

Biogen's Alzheimer's revival meets with skepticism

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Biogen was a shattered biotech company in March after it pulled the plug on its new Alzheimer's drug, but it recaptured Wall Street's good graces by looking at its data again and deciding to shoot for FDA approval after all.

Reality check: Alzheimer's affects almost 6 million Americans, and those patients and their families have desperately sought an effective treatment. But independent experts have not reviewed Biogen's data, and the industry isn't exactly on good footing right now when it comes to being forthright about its data.

Biogen resurrects failed Alzheimer's treatment

A building with the blue Biogen logo on top.
Biogen's stock soared Tuesday. Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images

Biogen plans to pursue FDA approval early next year of an experimental Alzheimer's drug that the company had squashed six months ago after initial signs showed the drug didn't work.

Why it matters: This is a major and unexpected development that hints at a possible Alzheimer's treatment, driving Biogen's stock price up by more than 25%. But there remains widespread skepticism about how Biogen is interpreting the clinical trial data, and whether the data shows the drug is effective.

FTC wants data on merging hospitals

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Five health insurers and two hospital systems have until January to send patient billing data, salary data and other information to the Federal Trade Commission as part of a study looking into hospital merger reviews.

Why it matters: The FTC has been skeptical of so-called "certificates of public advantage" — policies that some states adopt as a workaround to approve hospital mergers while avoiding federal antitrust scrutiny.