Alzheimer’s is horrible. It is something that we have personal experience of as has our ambassador and friend James Butler so the news of a ‘new era’ in therapies is extremely welcome. Very very early days yet and dependent on early diagnosis/identification which is an issue itself, but evidence of a more promising future for many and reason to support the work being done!
Antibody therapy lecanemab removes clumps of protein called beta amyloid that builds up in brainThe Guardian
Researchers have hailed the dawn of a new era of Alzheimer’s therapies after a clinical trial confirmed that a drug slows cognitive decline in patients with early stages of the disease.
The result comes after decades of failure in the field and encouraged 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 Alzheimer patients,” said Bart De Strooper, director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London.
“While the clinical benefits appear somewhat limited, it can be expected that they will become more apparent over time.”
The drug, lecanemab, is an antibody therapy that removes clumps of protein called beta amyloid which builds up in the brain.
It is unclear how much the clumps drive Alzheimer’s, but in patients with inherited forms of the disease, they appear to pave the way for a cascade of brain changes that steadily destroy brain cells.
Lecanemab’s developers, Biogen in the US and Eisai in Japan, announced top line results from the clinical trial in nearly 1,800 patients in September, but researchers in the field have anxiously awaited the full data, which were published on Tuesday in the New England of Journal of Medicine.
This showed the drug reducing the decline in patients’ overall mental skills by 27% over 18 months – a modest but significant result.