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Cassava Sciences had long claimed that its experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease was capable of improving the cognition of patients — a benefit no other Alzheimer’s drug has ever shown.

But mid-stage study results updated on Tuesday now show the cognitive status of patients worsening to the point where Cassava’s drug, called simufilam, doesn’t look any more effective than a placebo.


Shares of Cassava fell 18% to $29, erasing $270 million in market value. The company is still worth $1.2 billion even though Tuesday’s troublesome data should erase any investor’s hope that twin Phase 3 studies of simufilam — ongoing but still enrolling participants — will prove successful.

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