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Why Actinogen Medical shares climbed 466% on excitement over an Alzheimer’s treatment

The Actinogen Medical Ltd (ASX: ACW) share price is up 466% today from 0.9 cents to 5.1 cents after the biotech researcher reported positive clinical trial results for its Xanamem drug designed to treat cognitive impairment in the elderly.

According to the company’s announcement its trial reached a “statistically significant” endpoint in treating patients with 20mg daily dose of Xanamem for 12 weeks, compared to placebo.

Moreover, the company claims the printed dataset advances its drug development strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. 

Treating Alzheimer’s is commonly described as one of the last great medical frontiers as it’s one of the most prevalent human diseases still with no recognised treatment or cure.

As such share markets globally are littered with the shells of biotech hopefuls that have claimed to develop treatments only for trial results to prove ineffective. 

Back in March 2019 shares in US biotech giant Biogen crashed after it ended the trials into its own Alzheimer’s drug that Goldman Sachs had previously told investors should generate US$12 billion a year in sales. Oops.

While shares in ASX listed Prana Biotechnology (ASX: PBT) went gangbusters to hit a high around $1.26 in 2014 only to sell for 3.3 cents today under a new name of Alterity Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ATH).

Prana shares bombed after its much vaunted Phase II Alzheimer drug trials failed on almost every count. 

Some medical professionals have even claimed the the neuro-degenerative and genetic nature of Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s mean a treatment will never be found. 

As such we can see this is a high risk, but high reward space if any biotech ever does crack what is probably the largest unmet single medical market left. As you can probably guess I would not suggest buying Actinogen shares. 

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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