Promising data shows that an Alzheimer’s drug can slow cognitive decline.
In a phase III clinical trial, with results published Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, the drug, Lecanemab — developed by Eisai and Biogen Inc. — slowed the rate of cognitive decline in patients in the early stages of the disease, making it the first drug of its kind to produce such positive trial results, a study showed.
Researchers followed nearly 1,800 patients over the course of 18 months and found the drug “resulted in moderately less decline on measures of cognition and function,” compared to patients who received a placebo.
However, the companies noted that “longer trials are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of Lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Association said it was “encouraged” by the news and called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to give accelerated approval of Lecanemab.
“These peer-reviewed, published results show Lecanemab will provide patients more time to participate in daily life and live independently,” the association said in a statement. “It could mean many months more of recognizing their spouse, children and grandchildren.”
The statement continued, “Treatments that deliver tangible benefits to those living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s and early Alzheimer’s dementia are as valuable as treatments that extend the lives of those with other terminal diseases”
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