Biogen to remove $1B in costs after Alzheimer's drug flops

Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company Biogen is cutting office space and planning layoffs after its Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm proved unpopular with providers and insurers, the Boston Globe reported Aug. 9. 

Since its onset, Aduhelm's path has been rocky. The FDA approved it in summer 2021, which led to intense debate over its efficacy and potential severe side effects. The controversy resulted in some of the biggest insurance companies withholding coverage for it and several health systems, such as Cleveland Clinic and New York City-based Mount Sinai, refusing to offer it. CMS then shrunk the medication's Medicare coverage to only apply in clinical trials, further minimizing the future for the only approved Alzheimer's drug. 

Biogen's CEO resigned a month after the CMS decision. 

A spokesperson for the biotech company told the Globe the decision to sublease part of its office space, which is part of an effort to lower costs by $1 billion, "is allowing us to optimize our footprint and reduce the amount of space we occupy, taking into consideration new elements such as the hybrid work model."

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