Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?
A team of researchers inside Pfizer made a startling find in 2015: The company’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis therapy Enbrel, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, appeared to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent.
The results were from an analysis of hundreds of thousands of insurance claims. Verifying that the drug would actually have that effect in people would require a costly clinical trial — and after several years of internal discussion, Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public, the company confirmed….
The company told The Post that it decided during its three years of internal reviews that Enbrel did not show promise for Alzheimer’s prevention because the drug does not directly reach brain tissue. …..
…outside researchers contacted by The Post believe Pfizer also should at least have published its data, making the findings broadly available to researchers.
…“It would benefit the scientific community to have that data out there,’’ said Keenan Walker, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins who is studying how inflammation contributes to Alzheimer’s.
They don’t want the public or other researchers to know how Alzheimer’s is linked to inflammation.