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Cambridge, Massachusetts. The race to stem the progression of Alzheimer’s comes as millions of people around the world are living with the disease. According to Alzheimer’s International, by 2050, 139 million people will be living with Alzheimer’s globally, if there is no effective treatment. This may change with the latest announcement of a promising new drug trial.

Top line drug research findings

Michel Vounatsos CEO of Biogen announced the topline results of an Alzheimer’s drug trial on the 27th of September 2022 in the US. The findings came from Eisai’s large global Phase 3 confirmatory Clarity AD clinical trial of lecanemab. 

By all accounts, the experimental Alzheimer’s drug has significantly slowed cognitive and functional decline in a large trial of patients in the early stages of the disease. Media reports confirm that the findings represent an important  breakthrough in a field littered with failed drugs.

Drug trial announced by Michel Vounatsos CEO of Biogen

Michel Vounatsos CEO of Biogen announces drug trial results.

What success will mean

“Today’s announcement gives patients and their families hope that lecanemab, if approved, can potentially slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and provide a clinically meaningful impact on cognition and function,”  reports Vounatsos.

“Importantly, the study shows that removal of aggregated amyloid beta in the brain is associated with a slowing of disease in patients at the early stage of the disease.”

Alzheimer’s drug slows the progress of the brain-wasting disease by 27%

According to Vounatsos, “This is an investigational anti-amyloid beta (Aβ) protofibril antibody for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild AD (collectively known as early AD) with confirmed presence of amyloid pathology in the brain.”

The Biogen announcement said lecanemab met the primary endpoint (CDR-SB: Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes*) and all key secondary endpoints with highly statistically significant results.

The drug, lecanemab, slowed progress of the brain-wasting disease by 27% compared with a placebo, meeting the study’s main goal, and potentially offering hope for patients and their families desperate for an effective treatment.

A drug to defeat Alzheimer’s

Biogen are considered pioneers in neuroscience. Vounatsos believes defeating Alzheimer’s will require multiple approaches and treatment options.

“We look forward to continuing the discussion about the significance of these findings with the patient, scientific, and medical communities.”

The announcement was shared by leading media worldwide, confirming the importance of the drug breakthrough.

According to a Reuters report, “Eisai will discuss this data with regulatory authorities in the U.S., Japan and Europe with the aim to file for traditional approval in the US and for marketing authorization applications in Japan and Europe by the end of Eisai’s FY2022, which ends March 31, 2023. “

Drug results to be presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Congress CTAD

Eisai will present the Clarity AD study results on November 29, 2022, at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Congress (CTAD), and will publish the findings in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

An important milestone in the Alzheimer’s disease community

“The positive result of the lecanemab, an anti-Aβ protofibril antibody, pivotal study after almost 25 years since Aricept’s launch is also an important milestone for Eisai in fulfilling the companies mission to meet the expectations of the Alzheimer’s disease community.”

Alzheimer’s disease not only presents a great challenge for patients and their families. It also negatively impacts society, including decreased productivity, increased social costs, and disease-related anxiety. 

“We believe that helping to alleviate these burdens will positively impact society as a whole,” echoed Haruo Naito, Chief Executive Officer at Eisai. 

Eisai drug Trial Announcement

Haruo Naito, Chief Executive Officer at Eisai shares thoughts on drug trial results.  Photo credit: Esai.com

He added, “Additionally, the lecanemab Clarity AD study results prove the amyloid hypothesis, in which the abnormal accumulation of Aβ in the brain is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease when targeted with a protofibril-binding therapy.”

Eisai believes these findings will create new horizons in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as well as further activate innovation for new treatment options. 

FDA update

Biogen’s press statement shared, “In July 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted Eisai’s Biologics License Application (BLA) for lecanemab under the accelerated approval pathway and granted Priority Review. The Prescription Drugs User Fee Act action date (PDUFA) is set for January 6, 2023. The FDA has agreed that the results of Clarity AD can serve as a confirmatory study to verify the clinical benefit of lecanemab.”

References

Read more technical details about the drug trial here:

Biogen news release =:  https://investors.biogen.com/news-releases/news-release-details/lecanemab-confirmatory-phase-3-clarity-ad-study-met-primary
Eisai news release:  https://www.eisai.com/news/2022/news202271.html

For more information on Alzheimer’s read further here:

Alzheimer’s Disease International https://www.alzint.org/resource/world-alzheimer-report-2022/
Main image credit: Biogen.com
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Staff Writer

This post was written by a staff writer on Longevity, the bio for which will be included in the post for more information.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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