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The announcement Tuesday night from Eisai and Biogen that their experimental medicine, lecanemab, reduced Alzheimer’s patients’ decline as measured by a clinical questionnaire is one of the biggest — and potentially happiest — shocks in the recent history of medicine.

It’s a shock because Biogen had so bungled the launch of their previous Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, with failed clinical trials, a tortuous path to approval, and a wholesale rejection by Medicare and by the market. Wall Street analysts, who advise investors on what to buy, were not expecting success.

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