New steps in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

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Date: 10.02.2021

Eli Lilly and Co said a trial of its experimental Alzheimer’s drug donanemab showed it slowed by about a third the rate of decline in a combined measure of cognition and function in early-stage victims of the disease.

The drug is an antibody designed to remove clumps of the Alzheimer's-related protein beta amyloid from the brain.

Lilly said the mid-stage trial of 272 patients met its main goal of showing a statistically significant change in clinical decline over 18 months.

Donanemab targets a type of beta amyloid known as N3pG which Lilly believes can be rapidly cleared, enabling short-term, but durable, treatment.

Patients in the study stopped receiving donanemab and were switched to placebo once their brain plaques reached levels seen in healthy people - a process that took just a few months for some patients.

“This study shows that the presence of amyloid is an important accelerant of Alzheimer’s disease,” Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer.

The results also “tell us that there are other things at play,” he added, saying additional strategies were needed to fully combat Alzheimer’s.

A brain swelling side effect, known as ARIA-E, occurred in 27% of patients treated with donanemab, the company said.

Source: Reuters

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