Two Biotech Stocks Jump on Alzheimer's Trial Data

Shares of Medivation surged 29% after the San Francisco-based biotech company said its experimental Alzheimer's disease treatment Dimebon prevented mental deterioration in patients for a year.

Results of a Phase II study revealed that the drug satisfied two criteria used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve all drugs marketed for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's, Medivation said in a statement.

"Dimebon patients were stabilized over the one-year study period, meaning that their level of function was preserved for a full year" on all five study measures, Medivation said.

The measures involved cognition, overall clinical function, activities of daily living and behavioral problems, Medivation said, noting the drug was well tolerated over the full treatment period. The most frequently reported adverse events among patients receiving the drug were dry mouth and sweating, the company said.

The relatively small study involved Alzheimer's 183 patients and was conducted at multiple sites in Russia, the company said.

"Given these data and the fact that Dimebon was well tolerated in this study, I consider Dimebon one of the most promising Alzheimer's disease compounds in development," said Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a prepared statement.

The company plans to present results of the study on Tuesday at an Alzheimer's Association conference in Washington.

Neurochem shares jumped after the small Canadian biotech said it will update efforts to analyze data from a recent study of its Alzheimer's disease treatment Alzhemed.

Shares fell in April after the company ended a clinical trial of the drug and stopped collecting data, prompting analysts to worry that results were not good.

The company said early results for Alzhemed were positive and will update results at the Alzheimer's Association conference on Monday.