Biogen Idec has just announced (March 2015), the results of a phase 1 trial on a new drug they have developed for Alzheimer disease. This new drug Aducanumab (also known as BIIB037) has exceeded the researchers expectations in relation to how much it slowed down the cognitive and mental decline in Alzheimer patients.
The phase 1 trial started in 2012 and results included 166 Alzheimer patients that have either mild disease or prodromal disease – at a very early stage.
The patients chosen were all shown to have amyloid plaque in their brains using a new imaging technique. Amyloid plaque in the brain is widely believed to be a cause of the dementia in Alzheimer’s disease. (Clumps of Amyloid plaque that build up in the brain causes cells to die, resulting in interference with cell to cell communication).
Patients in the trial were put into various groups with one group being given one dose of a placebo drug, while the other groups were given one dose of aducanumab at various quantities.
New Drug Shows Promise Slowing Alzheimer’s
Interview with Dr Gandi (Alzheimer Disease Research Center) by PBS News
Results of the study
The drug Aducanumab (BIIB037) showed 71% reduced declines in the brain when given on the highest dose. This astounding result has warranted the need for bigger studies to be done to become eligible for the FDA to give approval.
Biogen Idec is looking at going straight from the phase 1 study to a phase 3 study, and hopes to be taking enrollments for the next phase later in 2015. If all goes well they hope to have this drug on the market by 2018.
Noted side effects of Aducanumab:
Some patients that were given high doses of aducanumab experienced swelling on the brain.
Researchers have reported that this swelling on the brain can be easily detected from a specialized MRI scan before the side effects come on, and doses can be decreased in those with the swelling.
Article written by Wen Dee
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