Pfizer has shuttered early-stage neuroscience research efforts in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which will result in about 300 layoffs. The company said it will continue to support two chronic pain programs: development of tanezumab, and its Lyrica empire. (NPR)
Axovant has suffered yet another flop with intepirdine, which already failed in a phase III Alzheimer’s trial. Now, the drug bombed in Lewy body dementia. Its intepirdine program — which was picked up from the rubbish pile at GlaxoSmithKline — will now be abandoned. The company also reported negative results for another drug, nelotanserin, in visual hallucinations associated with Parkinson’s. (Endpoints News)
But it’s not all bad news for neuroscience research. Takeda is building out its portfolio of experimental Alzheimer’s drugs, shelling out $1 billion for a partnership with Denali, which says it’s working on new approaches to neurodegeneration. (Endpoints News)
Alder reported positive top-line results for its investigational CGRP inhibitor eptinezumab in chronic migraine, and plans to file with the FDA later this year. (Xconomy)
Ben Barres, who brought glial cell research into the mainstream, died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 27 at age 63. (Alzforum)
Researchers have imaged the crystal structure of the activated kappa opioid receptor, enabling researchers to better understand how its interaction with dynorphin produces its diverse effects. (Cell)
Patients who take opioids for musculoskeletal conditions are more satisfied with their care, but they’re not necessarily healthier: they had more pain and worse disability than “comparable patients” not taking opioids, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Nevro scored FDA approval for its spinal cord stimulation system Senza II, which it’s touting as a non-opioid treatment for pain.
Eisai will co-promote Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drugs dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), natalizumab (Tysabri), and interferon beta-1a (Avonex) in Japan.