The drug sold by Biogen is an antibody that binds to brain plaques. Aduhelm failed in a large study on humans that showed no concrete benefit for patients with the brain disease. But the company and the US Food and Drug Administration decided in June to act despite the objections of the agency’s expert advisors. Several have quit. One, Aaron Kesselheim, called the episode “probably the worst drug approval decision in recent US history”.
Yes, we need new treatments for Alzheimer’s. However, this approval marked a worrying trend towards drug approval using a weaker type of evidence known as “surrogate markers”. Because Aduhelm caused a measurable reduction in brain plaque – a marker of dementia – the FDA concluded that it would “have a reasonable likelihood” of benefiting from it. One problem with such guesswork is that no one knows whether these plaques cause disease or are just part of their symptoms.
Aduhelm, the first new Alzheimer’s drug in 20 years, is already a fiasco. Few patients get it, Biogen sales are tiny, and at least one person has died of brain swelling. Since gaining approval, the company has cut the price of the drug in half and its chief researcher abruptly resigned.
R.read more: “How an Unproven Alzheimer’s Drug Was Approved,” New York Times.
Zillo’s house buying algorithm
“Don’t get high with your own supplies” is a well-known business maxim. Real estate company Zillow has done just that, with disastrous results.
The company’s real estate market is popular, as is its computer-generated home values known as “zestimates”. The company’s mistake was to use its estimates to buy houses for themselves, unseen, to flip them and collect transaction fees. Zillow soon learned that his algorithm was not correctly predicting changes in house prices. And that wasn’t the only problem.
Zillow competed with other digital bidders, the so-called “iBuyers”. So it did what any house hunter who had settled on a deal would do: It was paid too much. That year, Zillow offered hundreds of homes for less than what they bought. In November, the company closed its Zillow Offers iBuying unit, cut 2,000 jobs and posted a $ 500 million write-down.
Zillow will stick with his original business of selling advertisements to real estate agents. His zestimates still have a home on the site.
Continue reading: “What went wrong with Zillow? A real estate algorithm derailed its big bet, ”Wall Street Journal
Ransomware is malicious software that hijacks a company’s computer files by encrypting them. Criminals then demand money to restore access. It’s a booming business. According to cybersecurity firm SonicWall, ransomware hit a new record in 2021 with more than 500 million attacks.