Drugs

Another Alzheimer's drug fails

A Biogen sign in front of its headquarters building.
Biogen's Alzheimer's failure drove its stock down 29%. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Biogen and Eisai have ended late-stage trials for an Alzheimer's disease drug, less than a year after the pharmaceutical companies painted a rosy picture of the drug's potential. Biogen's stock plunged 29% on the news.

The big picture: It's always a bad sign when clinical trials are discontinued before data are analyzed. It's an even worse sign for Alzheimer's research and raises questions about whether scientists should abandon the idea that the brain disease is "caused by sticky clumps of protein called amyloid plaques," according to a 2016 story by Stat.

FDA approves first postpartum depression drug

Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Maryland.
Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. Photo: Al Drago/CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first-ever drug for the treatment of postpartum depression.

Why it matters: The injectable drug, to be called Zulresso, offers new hope for mothers who experience symptoms of postpartum depression after pregnancy, including feelings of sadness and anxiety that might interfere with their ability to provide their babies with care. The symptoms can be severe and even life threatening.

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