New Alzheimer's drug being tested, may reverse disease

Posted Jun 21, 2015 by Marcus Hondro
Researchers in Florida are enrolling participants in a large-scale study to be conducted on a new drug in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease. The drug is aducanumab and in smaller trials scientists say it has performed very well.
New Alzheimer's drug trial
Being developed by an American pharmaceutical company called Biogen, in a initial trial of 166 people researchers say the drug reduced the amount of amyloid plaque in the brains of participants, slowing down and even reversing the onset of dementia symptoms.
That first trial was promising enough Biogen has skipped a normal phase of trial testing and moved into a phase three trial. This new trial, conducted by the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida, will have 1,000 participants between 50 and 85. Participants are still being signed up.
"It's really, potentially, going to be a ground-breaker," one of the researchers, Dr. Fred Schaerf, told media. "It offers people some real hope that there might be something out there."
Dementia drug promising
In the earlier trial, some patients were given the drug in 3 mg. doses, others in 10 mg. doses and a third group did not take the drug. A March press release said that after taking a mental acuity test those who had taken aducanumab showed improvement.
"The placebo group saw a 3.14 point decline over the course of a year compared to a decline of just .75 points and .58 points, respectively, for those getting the 3 mg and ten mg aducanumab dose," the press release said.
After that first trial, Biogen spokeswoman Kate Niazo-Sai said "the results we have seen in a relatively small patient sample are very hopeful. If this was replicated in a further trial, then it could change the landscape for treatment of Alzheimer's."
This new, larger trial will get underway in the coming weeks.