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Biogen to Replace CEO

Biogen is going to replace its CEO and shift its marketing strategy of its controversial Alzheimer's disease drug, according to the Associated Press.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Biogen's Aduhelm (aducanumab) in June 2021 despite concerns from an outside advisory panel that there was not enough evidence indicating the drug was effective. The drug's initial list price of $56,000 a year courted further controversy, leading the company to cut the cost by half. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would only cover Aduhelm for patients enrolled in clinical trials, some private insurers said they would not cover it, and a few medical centers said they would not administer it. Sales of the drug, the Wall Street Journal reported in October, have been lower than expected.

The AP adds that Aduhelm was expected to be a blockbuster for the company and generate billions of dollars, but that these hesitations and restrictions have limited its adoption. Biogen is instead "substantially eliminating" its Aduhelm spending as part of bid to limit costs, it adds, and Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos, who was the main force behind the company's Aduhelm strategy, will be leaving that position once a replacement is found.

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