Trial Of Experimental Drug For Alzheimer’s Slows Down Mental Decline By An Astonishing 27%
Biogen, an American biotech company, has recently announced the results they obtained from a phase 3 clinical trial that revealed how a new Alzheimer’s drug manged to slow down the rate of cognitive decline for early onset patients by a very inspiring 27%.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association (AA), the robust study of lecanemab, which happens to be a monoclonal antibody created to clear clumps of amyloid protein from the brain, is “the most encouraging results in clinical trials treating the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s to date.”
As for the CEO of the Japanese pharmaceutical company that partnered with Biogen, called Eisai, said the these results of the lecanemab study, which has been named Clarity AD, “proves the amyloid hypothesis, in which the abnormal accumulation of Aβ in the brain is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.”
As for Eisai, they believe that these findings will find new pathways and perspective in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, while managing to further stimulate innovation in better and newer treatment options.
The study had 1,800 participants, all diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease, while half of the were given placebo and the other half given twice-weekly infusions of the lacenmab. The study results showed that the drug managed to ‘reduce toxic amyloid plaque in the brain and slow patients’ memory decline, while improving their ability to perform day-to-day tasks.’
Notably, the full trial analysis has not yet been released.
As for Alzheimer’s advocates and researchers, they look forward to finding out more about the data during a meeting in November. This will include participant safety and the percentage of parents who experienced any brain swelling as well.
The AA said in a statement, “If those data are consistent with what we saw today regarding efficacy and safety, we strongly support FDA approval and full [Medicare] coverage.”
As for Chief Executive Officer at Biogen, Michel Vounatsos, he said, “Today’s announcement gives patients and their families hope that lecanemab, if approved, can potentially slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and provide a clinically meaningful impact on cognition and function.”
As for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they have agreed that the study results from the 18-month trial can ‘serve as the confirmatory study to verify the clinical benefit of lecanemab,’ and will announce their decision no later than January 6.
Although the researchers explain that amyloid is just one component of Alzheimer’s disease, which is why some are saying the benefits that have been measure by this trial are “small.”
According to a neurobiologist at the University of Texas who happens to be a sceptic of the amyloid hypothesis explained to NATURE journal, how amyloid happens to be “associated with the problem, but it isn’t ‘the’ problem.” Moreover, “if you modulate it, of course you can have some small benefit.”
However, there are other experts that have chimed in with more hopeful statements. For director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr. Susan Kohlhaas, “This is a historic moment for dementia research, as this is the first phase 3 trial of an Alzheimer’s drug in a generation to successfully slow cognitive decline.”
“Many people feel Alzheimer’s is an inevitable part of aging. This spells it out: if you intervene early you can make an impact on how people progress,” she added.