Small study shows Alzheimer’s drug significantly slows cognitive decline

A small study of an experimental Alzheimer’s  drug from Biogen Idec significantly slowed cognitive decline and reduced what is believed to be brain destroying plaque in early and mid stage patients.

The drug, Aducanumab, or BIIB037, was tested on 166 people, divided into five groups  Each of four groups received a different dose.  The fifth  received a placebo.  The Biogen treatment led to reductions in brain amyloid, according to interim data presented at a conference in Nice last week. The plaque reduction was more pronounced over time, and as the dose of the drug increased.

According to Biogen’s Chief Medical Officer, Alfred Sandrock:  “It marks the first time an experimental drug demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in amyloid plaque as well as a slowing of clinical impairment in patients with mild disease.  It’s a bigger treatment effect than we had hoped for.”

While promising, the drug has only been tested on 166 people and requires much larger and longer trials.  The personal, family, and societal devastation of Alzheimer’s disease is enormous,  and the promise of effective drugs and research has disappointed many.  ApplySci hopes that this study truly indicates a breakthrough.

Biogen will  soon begin enrolling patients in a large Phase III trial, the results of which could be used to seek approval of its drug.

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