US and EU approval sought for ‘ground-breaking’ Alzheimer’s drug

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A US drug company says it has created the first therapy that could slow Alzheimer’s disease, and it is now ready to bring it to market, reports BBC News. Currently, there are no drugs that can do this – existing ones only help with symptoms.

According to the report, Biogen says it will soon seek regulatory approval in the US for the “ground-breaking” drug, called aducanumab. It plans to file the paperwork in early 2020 and has its sights on Europe too.

The report says the announcement is somewhat surprising because the company had discontinued work on the drug in March 2019, after disappointing trial results. But the company says a new analysis of a larger dataset of the same studies shows that higher doses of aducanumab can provide a significant benefit to patients with early Alzheimer’s, slowing their clinical decline so they preserve more of their memory and every-day living skills – things that the disease usually robs.

Hilary Evans from Alzheimers Research UK said: “People affected by Alzheimer’s have waited a long time for a life-changing new treatment and this exciting announcement offers new hope that one could be in sight. Taking another look at aducanumab is a positive step for all those who took part in the clinical trials and the worldwide dementia research community. As more data emerges, we hope it will spark global discussions about the next steps for delivering much-needed treatments into people’s hands.”

Professor Bart De Strooper, director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London, said in the report: “It is fantastic to hear of these new positive results emerging from the aducanumab trials. We currently have no effective treatments to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and I hope this signifies a turning point.”

BBC News report

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