A recent announcement by drugmaker Eli Lilly that its drug donanemab slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s by nearly one-third is giving many patients, caregivers and providers reason for optimism. But let’s not do a happy dance quite yet.
I don’t want to diminish anyone’s hope, especially the estimated 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. But it’s prudent to remember that other drug companies have shown promising initial results for Alzheimer’s drugs, only to find that larger-scale Phase 3 trials didn’t pan out, as Gina Kolata of The New York Times notes. Continue reading
We don’t yet know the severity of COVID-19’s long-term effects on the brain, but a group of international researchers is aiming to find out.
The Alzheimer’s Association and scientists in 30 countries are forming an international consortium to track and assess COVID-19 patients. According to a paper announcing the study, scientists will look for any lasting effects on the central nervous system which may lead to late-life cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. The World Health Organization is providing technical help. Continue reading
Could an Alzheimer’s drug finally be on the horizon? Possibly ― if the FDA agrees with data from several Biogen clinical trials ― but approval is still far from a sure bet.
The company, on July 9, submitted its biologics license application (BLA) for aducanumab, an investigational treatment for the disease. The submission includes clinical data from Phase 3 EMERGE and ENGAGE studies, as well as the Phase 1B PRIME study. Biogen has requested an accelerated review, potentially putting the medication on a path for a final decision by March 2021. However, data from these Phase 3 trials are not without controversy in the scientific community.
“Aducanumab, a so-called monoclonal antibody designed to target amyloid plaque in the brain, has been one of the most closely watched drugs in development for several years,” according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading