TOKYO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Shares in Japanese drugmaker
Eisai Co fell more than 6% on Tuesday after a report
that a woman who was enrolled in a trial of the company's
Alzheimer's disease treatment had died from brain haemorrhage.
The haemorrhage occurred after the woman, who was receiving
the experimental drug developed by Eisai and U.S. partner Biogen
Inc, suffered a stroke and was given a medicine known
as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to clear blood clots,
journal Science.org reported on Sunday.
Some analysts said it was not clear if use of the drug,
lecanemab, was raising the risk of bleeding, and cautioned
against the use of blood thinners with the drug.
"We think the interpretation that lecanemab is the causative
factor is aggressive. This patient clearly went into crisis
following tPA administration," Baird analyst Brian Skorney said
in a note.
This is the second media report of a death among patients
who were enrolled in the lecanemab trial. A man in his 80s who
was receiving a blood thinner died in June, according to a
report by health journal STAT in late October.
Eisai said in a statement on Monday that all available
safety information indicates lecanemab therapy is not associated
with an increased risk of death overall. It said it could not
provide any information about specific patients "to protect the
privacy of patients".
Shares of Eisai dropped 6.2% to 8,988 yen on Tuesday,
leading decliners on the benchmark Nikkei index, which
closed 0.5% lower. Shares in Biogen fell 4.3% on Monday.
Biogen and Eisai are expected to present detailed data from
their late-stage study results later in the day.
Lecanemab was shown to slow cognitive and functional decline
in a large trial of patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's
disease, the companies said in September.
(Reporting by Rocky Swift in Tokyo and Raghav Mahobe and Khushi
Mandowara in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Devika