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Alzheimer's drug trial results 'extremely encouraging'

“Extremely encouraging” results from a trial of a new Alzheimer’s drug sent shares of pharmaceutical company Biogen up nearly 20 percent Friday, CNBCreported.

Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) and Tokyo-based drugmaker Eisai reported “statistically significant” evidence that the drug, BAN2401, can slow progression of Alzheimer’s, which causes progressive mental deterioration and degeneration of the brain.

The drug, developed in collaboration between Eisai and Swedish biotechnology company BioArctic, targets beta amyloid proteins that form plaques in the brain, speculated to be the cause of the disease.

Biogen chairman Stelios Papadopoulos told CNBC that BAN2401 is the first drug that seems to have the ability to clear amyloid plaque, which was associated with a slowdown of the cognitive decline.

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