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Promising Alzheimer’s drug trial halted

| | March 22, 2019

Alzheimer’s disease has beaten back another effort to tame it.

Biogen and its Japanese pharma partner Eisai said [March 21] that they were halting two Phase 3 clinical trials of aducanumab, a drug that was designed to slow the worsening of Alzheimer’s by targeting brain-destroying protein fragments known as beta-amyloid.

The decision to stop the trials was based on an interim analysis conducted by an independent monitoring committee. This analysis concluded that aducanumab was unlikely to benefit Alzheimer’s patients compared to placebo when the trials completed, Biogen and Eisai said.

The failure of aducanumab is particularly discouraging for supporters of the beta-amyloid hypothesis, which was once the most well-accepted theory as to how it is that Alzheimer’s disease destroys the brain. The idea is that clumps of debris containing a protein called beta-amyloid were causing the damage, and that could be tested with a drug. …

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Biogen and Eisai believed that aducanumab was more potent and did a better job of removing beta-amyloid. They also enrolled patients into their trials who had very early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, with the belief that this would improve the chances for success. It did not.

Read full, original post: Biogen halts studies of closely watched Alzheimer’s drug, a blow to hopes for new treatment

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