Results From Promising Alzheimer’s Trial Are ‘Encouraging’ But Fall Short Of Massive Hype Around Drug
The drug showed success with patients who had the highest dosage for over 18 months, but there will need to be more studies before experts get really excited. "I don’t know that we’ve hit a home run yet. It’s important not to over-conclude on the data. But as a proof of concept, I feel like this is very encouraging," said Dr. Reisa Sperling, director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
The New York Times:
New Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Big Promise In Early Trial Results
The long, discouraging quest for a medication that works to treat Alzheimer’s reached a potentially promising milestone on Wednesday. For the first time in a large clinical trial, a drug was able to both reduce the plaques in the brains of patients and slow the progression of dementia. More extensive trials will be needed to know if the new drug is truly effective, but if the results, presented Wednesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, are borne out, the drug may be the first to successfully attack both the brain changes and the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. (Belluck, 7/25)
The Associated Press:
Hopes Rise Again For A Drug To Slow Alzheimer's Disease
The drug from Eisai and Biogen did not meet its main goal in a study of 856 participants, so overall, it was considered a flop. But company officials said that 161 people who got the highest dose every two weeks for 18 months did significantly better than 245 people who were given a dummy treatment. There are lots of caveats about the work, which was led by company scientists rather than academic researchers and not reviewed by outside experts. The study also was too small to be definitive and the results need to be confirmed with more work, dementia experts said. But they welcomed any glimmer of success after multiple failures. (7/25)
Experimental Alzheimer’s Drug Significantly Slowed Patients’ Cognitive Decline
“I’ll remain cautiously optimistic,” said Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. “I think the data are intriguing. The effect sizes sound reasonable, the drug seems safe, and on the biological side of it, the drug seems to be working.” But, he added, “you’d really want to see a Phase 3 to replicate those results.” Whether he’ll get one remains an open question. (Garde, 7/25)
Biogen’s Alzheimer’s Drug Data Encouraging, Not ‘Shock And Awe’
Eisai stock fell 10 percent Thursday in Tokyo, after plunging as much as 21 percent earlier in the day. Biogen sank 11 percent in late trading Wednesday in New York after closing at the highest in three years in anticipation of the results. BioArctic AB, the Swedish company that originally developed the medicine, tumbled in Stockholm trading. (Cortez, 7/25)
Kaiser Health News:
How Soon Is Soon Enough To Learn You Have Alzheimer’s?
Jose Belardo of Lansing, Kan., spent most of his career in the U.S. Public Health Service. He worked on the front lines of disasters in such places as Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. At home with his three kids and wife, Elaine, he’d always been unfailingly reliable, so when he forgot their wedding anniversary two years in a row, they both started to worry. “We recognized something wasn’t right and pretty much attributed it to being overworked and tired,” Elaine said. (Smith, 7/26)