Athira Pharma’s stock falls 39% after placing its CEO on leave

The Bothell, Wash.–based clinical-stage biopharma Athira Pharma (NSDQ:ATHA) is in a tailspin after the company’s board put Leen Kawas, the firm’s CEO, on temporary leave.

The company’s stock closed the day at an all-time low of $11.15. The stock was valued as high as $34.25 on Dec. 31, 2020.

Washington State University has launched an independent review of Kawas’s doctoral research in molecular pharmacology and toxicology, which she completed a decade ago.

The university is investigating reports that Kawas authored several papers with altered images.

Get the full story from our sister site, Drug Discovery & Development.

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Unraveling aducanumab’s impact remains a challenge

The FDA’s conditional approval of Biogen’s (NSDQ:BIIB) and Eisai’s (OTCMKTS:ESALY) Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (Aduhelm) may have been controversial, but the decision will likely have a significant financial impact.

There are 6 million people with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. alone, according to Alzheimer’s Association estimates. Approximately half of those patients have mild symptoms, which is the group most likely to be prescribed the drug.

A significant number of physicians are considering prescribing the intravenous drug for approximately one-third of Alzheimer’s patients with mild cognitive impairment, according to an analysis from Jefferies.

The need for such PET scans could drive an uptick in PET imaging, according to an investor briefing note from UBS.

As a result, Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) could be among the beneficiaries of the aducanumab approval as the company’s Nuclear & Precision Health Solutions division has a significant reach acro…

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