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Slow Start

Sales of Biogen's newly approved drug for Alzheimer's disease, Aduhelm, have been low, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to Biogen, Aduhelm revenue for July through September totaled $300,000. The Journal adds that the total sales of the drug for the year was $2 million, though analysts had expected it to reach $12 million during the quarter.

The US Food and Drug Administration's approval of aducanumab (Biogen's Aduhelm) in June was controversial. The approval under the agency's accelerated approval pathway came despite an advisory panel concluding that there was not enough data showing that the drug worked. The approval led advisory panel members to resign, and reports of "off-the-books" meetings between Biogen and FDA officials has also led acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock to call for an investigation of the approval process.

At the same time, a number of insurance companies have said they would not cover the drug and some medical centers said they would not administer it, with some saying that a clinical benefit has not been established.

"The potential uptake of Aduhelm in the US is delayed, but we continue to believe in its long-term potential," Michel Vounatsos, the Biogen CEO, says in a statement.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.