New Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab slows disease: study

A new drug may slow the insidious impact of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a major clinical trial.

Patients taking the drug, known as lecanemab, showed a 27% decrease in cognitive decline compared to a control group, according to developers Biogen, based in Boston, and Eisai, headquartered in Tokyo.

“As early as six months, at all time points, treatment showed highly statistically significant changes in [dementia severity] baseline versus placebo,” the companies announced.

The news brings lecanemab, which is injected into a patient’s veins, one step closer to FDA approval.

“Today’s announcement gives patients and their families hope that lecanemab, if approved, has the potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and have a clinically meaningful impact on cognition and function,” said Michel Vounatsos, CEO of Biogen.

Shares of Boston-based Biogen soared after the announcement.
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“As pioneers in neuroscience, we believe that beating this disease will require multiple approaches and treatment options, and we look forward to continuing the discussion of the importance of these findings with the patient, scientific and medical communities,” said he declared.

News of the landmark study, known as “Clarity AD”, also had repercussions in the world of finance – Biogen shares soared from around $73 to $270 during the major announcement. , Yahoo Finance reported.

“We believe lecanemab holds mega blockbuster potential, likely in the $6-8 billion range,” Guggenheim analyst Yatin Suneja wrote in a client note on Wednesday.

Lecanemab represents a major rebound for Biogen after the failure of Aduhelm – the company’s previous trial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease – when it came to market in 2021, The New York Times reported.

The intended neurological goal of the new drug is to remove the plaques formed on the brain by a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease called amyloid, thereby reducing the main effects of the disease.

Eisai representatives will present the results of the Clarity AD study at the Congress of Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) in late November and publish the research in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

“Eisai believes these findings will open new horizons in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and further drive innovation for new treatment options,” said company CEO Haruo Naito.

New York Post

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