First promising drug to slow Alzheimer’s

30 Oct 2019

The long awaited news that a drug has been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease has been announced.

Until now we have only been able to treat symptoms, but US-based company Biogen have last week announced that they have a successful drug to slow the progression of the disease itself.

Biogen plans to file for approval early next year in the United States, and may seek European approval too, a process that can take one to two years.

The company had discontinued these trials in Spring this year after disappointing results. However, after analysing a larger dataset of the same studies, they have shared findings that higher doses of the drug, aducanumab, can slow the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s. It does this through targeting the toxic protein beta-amyloid which builds up into plaque deposits found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. Reducing them enables people to preserve more memory and everyday living skills which would otherwise be lost to the disease.

Chief executive Hilary Evans of Alzheimer's Research UK said of the news:

‘Taking another look at aducanumab is a positive step for all those who took part in the clinical trials and the worldwide dementia research community. As more data emerges, we hope it will spark global discussions about the next steps for delivering much-needed treatments into people's hands.’

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