Researchers have hailed the dawn of a new era of therapies forAlzheimer after a clinical study confirmed that a drug slows cognitive decline in patients with early stages of the disease. The achievement comes after decades of failure in the field and has emboldened experts to say Alzheimer’s, which affects 30 million people worldwide, could be treatable. “This is the first drug that provides a real treatment option for patients,” he said Bart De Strooperdirector of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London.
“Although the clinical benefits appear somewhat limited, they can be expected to become more apparent over time.” The drug, Lecanemab, is an antibody therapy that removes clumps of proteins called amyloid beta that build up in the brain. Lecanemab developers Biogen in the US and Eisai in Japan announced better clinical trial results in nearly 1,800 patients in September, but industry researchers anxiously awaited the full data, which was released Tuesday in New England of Journal of Medicine. They showed that the drug reduced the decline in patients’ overall mental abilities by 27% over 18 months, a modest but significant result.
“I think it heralds a new era of disease modification for Alzheimer’s disease. An era that comes after more than 20 years of hard work on amyloid immunotherapies, by many, many people, and just as many disappointments along the way,” said Nick Fox, professor of clinical neurology and director of the Center for Amyloid Research. dementia at UCL.
Based on the study results, Eisai and Biogen plan to apply for approval for the drug from US, Japanese and European authorities by early next year. In Switzerland too, an application must be submitted to Swissmedic, the competent authority for the authorization and supervision of drugs and medical devices, which will then decide whether or not to approve the active ingredient for our country. However, an evaluation procedure of this type is long and complex and, once the request has been filed, it is not known how long it will take Swissmedic to establish whether the drug can be authorized for Switzerland. If approved, lecanemab would also be given only to patients at an early stage of the disease. Non-pharmacological interventions therefore continue to be of central importance in order to stabilize or improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their families.
First drug found to slow destruction of the brain in Alzheimer’s disease – lecanemab – is hailed as momentous https://t.co/ZTTG66FFxP
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) November 30, 2022
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