When the US FDA granted full approval of Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) and Eisai’s (OTCPK:ESAIY) Alzheimer’s therapy Leqembi (lecanemab), it was a boon to the 2 companies. It meant that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would cowl the drug.
Patients additionally benefitted as Medicare would foot most of the invoice for the associated fee of the drug, which has an inventory value of $16.5K. And due to necessities for taking the medication, it additionally meant that different companies — notably within the diagnostics and imaging area — may generate profits off of Leqembi uptake.
While the total approval may assist restore some of Biogen (BIIB) and Eisai’s (OTCPK:ESALF) broken repute after its different authorized Alzheimer’s med, Aduhelm (aducanumab), failed to acquire traction, getting individuals take the drug is, nicely, a course of.
A affected person first has to have a confirmed prognosis of delicate cognitive impairment associated to Alzheimer’s or delicate dementia. Those with extra extreme kinds of the illness will not be eligible for therapy.
Next, a affected person may have to get both a amyloid PET scan or spinal faucet to affirm the presence of amyloid, a sticky protein within the mind believed to be related to Alzheimer’s. Here’s the issue. Medicare solely covers one of these PET scans per lifetime and solely as half of a trial. Out-of-pocket prices for a PET scan can common $3K or extra, in accordance to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The imaging price situation could go away quickly if a proposal from CMS to remove the restriction on PET scans is eradicated. But even whether it is, a Leqembi person will nonetheless want to have common MRI scans due to the mind hemorrhaging and bleeding seen in some sufferers in scientific trials.
While these hurdles may be a turnoff for some, it has the potential to benefit different companies within the course of, corresponding to those that present diagnostics and imaging methods obligatory for PET and MRI scans, and radiology facilities the place they are going to be carried out.
Here’s a have a look at some of the companies that might reap their very own dividends courtesy of Leqembi.
GE HealthCare Technologies (NASDAQ:GEHC) is a healthcare gear powerhouse, and one of its largest segments is diagnostic machines and provides. The firm’s line of Omni Legend and Discovery CT/PET machines are already current in lots of radiology suites. Should demand for Leqembi take off, extra orders for these machines are virtually sure to rise.
GE Healthcare additionally gives chemistry options and cyclotrons to assist tracer manufacturing that’s used within the analysis of scans.
Siemens Healthineers (OTCPK:SEMHF)(OTCPK:SMMNY) is one other diagnostics and imaging behemoth. Its Biograph household of CT/PET scanners is a direct competitor to GE HealthCare (GEHC).
Because a spinal faucet to accumulate cerebrospinal fluid will also be used to detect the presence of amyloid within the mind, Roche’s (OTCQX:RHHBY) diagnostics section markets a check that may detect the presence of amyloid from CSF.
RadNet (NASDAQ:RDNT) is one of the most important suppliers of diagnostic imaging companies facilities within the nation with 357 facilities in seven states. It is the place a affected person would get a amyloid pet scan or one of the common MRI scans that Leqembi therapy requires.
Diagnostic companies suppliers Quest Diagnostics (DGX) and Laboratory Corporation of America (LH) may additionally see elevated testing ensuing from Leqembi. Labeling recommends that docs check potential sufferers for the presence of the APOE4 gene, which is related to the next danger of mind hemorrhaging and bleeding seen with the drug.