(CNBC) Biogen’s stock jumped 30% in midmorning trading Wednesday after the Food and Drug Administration staff said they have enough data to support approval of the company’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug.
“Based on the considerations above, the applicant has provided substantial evidence of effectiveness to support approval,” FDA staff said in a document reviewing the drug published on the agency’s website.
Biogen’s drug, Aducanumab targets, a “sticky” compound in the brain known as beta-amyloid, which is hypothesized to play a role in the devastating disease.
A panel of outside experts is expected to meet Friday to recommend the drug’s approval to the FDA.
There are currently no drugs cleared by the FDA that can reverse the mental decline from Alzheimer’s, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
The FDA has approved Alzheimer’s drugs aimed at helping symptoms, not actually reversing or slowing the disease itself. Biogen estimates about 1.5 million people with early Alzheimer’s in the United States could be candidates for the drug, according to Reuters.
The FDA’s final decision on Biogen’s drug is expected by March.