Friday, December 6, 2019
Biogen’s Experimental Drug to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease is Greeted with Cautious Optimism Following Scientific Presentation on Thursday
Pharmaceutical maker Biogen provided the scientific community a detailed presentation at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in San Diego about an experimental drug that appears to slow the brain’s deterioration in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, aducanumab, may be the first significant advancement in the treatment of the disease since the introduction of memantine, which is commonly marketed as Namenda in 2003 and relieves some of the symptoms of dementia.
R. Scott Turner, director of Georgetown University’s Memory Disorders Program, a partner in the study, said “This study proves that we are on the right track to developing more effective, disease-modifying treatments designed to stop or slow memory decline in the earliest disease stage — when patients are still relatively independent in their daily functions.” The company says they hope to seek FDA approval next year, and if Biogen succeeds, it will be the first drug to treat the underlying pathology of the dementia-causing disease.
The medication assists patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease to continue independently going about their daily business longer than people who did not take it, even slowing down the condition's progression by as much as 40%. Not all of the professionals that witnessed the presentation were sold on the medication, but many saw this as a positive for the Alzheimer's treatment community.
See Fredrick Kunkle, Biogen’s Experimental Drug to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease is Greeted with Cautious Optimism Following Scientific Presentation on Thursday, Washington Post, December 5, 2019.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.