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Saturday, 6 June 2015

New Alzheimer's drug offers hope

New Alzheimer's drug offers hope
Andrew Pollack NYT NEWS SERVICE


In Trial, It Slows Progress Of Disease
An experimental drug for Alz heimer's disease sharply slowed the decline in mental function in a small clinical trial, researchers reported on Friday, reviving hopes for an approach to therapy that until now has experienced repeated failures.The drug, being developed by Bio gen Idec, could achieve sales of billions of dollars a year if the results from the small trial are replicated in larger trials that Biogen said it hoped to begin this year. Experts say that there are no really good drugs now to treat Alzheimer's.
Biogen's stock has risen about 40% since early December, when the com since early December, when the company first announced that the drug had slowed cognitive decline in the trial, without saying by how much.Analysts and investors had been eagerly awaiting the detailed results, which were presented on Friday at a neurology meeting in France.
The drug, called aducanumab, appears to have met or exceeded Wall Street expectations in terms of how much the highest dose slowed cognitive decline. However, there was a high incidence of a particular side effect that might make it difficult to use the highest dose.
Alzheimer's specialists were im pressed, but they cautioned that it is difficult to read much from a small early-stage, or Phase I trial, that was designed to look at safety , not the effect on cognition. Also, other Alzheimer's drugs that had looked promising in early studies ended up not working in larger trials.
Aducanumabis designed to get rid of amyloid plaque in the brain, believed to be a cause of the dementia.However, other drugs designed to prevent or eliminate plaque have failed in large clinical trials, raising questions about what role the plaque really plays.
Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer abandoned a drug they were jointly developing after it showed virtually no effect in large trials.
SOURCE: Mar 21 2015 : The Times of India (NaviMumbai)