An experimental drug slowed the progression of Alzheimer's neurodegenerative disease, as shown by a small clinical trial in the US. It is the donanemab monoclonal antibody of the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which made the relevant announcement.
The antibody binds to the β-amyloid toxic protein plaques in the brain and kills them.
The test results have not yet been published in a scientific journal. However, if they are proven accurate and confirmed by other scientists, will be the first time that a drug for this disease shows positive results in the phase 2 of clinical trials, according to University of Southern California professor of psychiatry and neurology Lon Snyder.
"Other experimental drugs for Alzheimer's have not been tested in phase 2, tested directly in most patients in the phase 3, but where cat’ recurrence showed disappointing results, according to the New York Times. The new study was done in 272 patients with mild to moderate symptoms, some of whom were taking the drug every four weeks.
Patients treated, showed an average slowdown in the worsening of their symptoms by 32%, compared to those who had taken placebo (playboy). In a period of six to 12 months ago the β-amyloid plaques in the brains of the first group of patients had disappeared and did not reappear, said Dr. Daniel Skovronski, the company's chief scientist.
For "important news that offers hope to patients and their families", Dr. Michael Weiner of the University of California, San Francisco, leading researcher on Alzheimer's, stressed, however, that the clinical trial should be repeated by other scientists and that more data should be available.. Eli Lilly has assured that she will provide more information about her new treatment and trial, both with its announcements and with a relevant scientific publication.
Several scientists have argued that Alzheimer's disease is due to the accumulation of β-amyloid in the brain and therefore if there was a way this would not happen, the disease would be prevented or even cured. Pharmaceutical companies have spent billions of dollars trying anti-β-amyloid drugs to date., but in vain, which raised many doubts as to whether it is true that this protein is indeed the "culprit".
Eli Lilly's test, which seems to confirm the "guilt" of the amyloid, focused on patients who showed significant amyloid accumulation in their brains on imaging. Before and after the trial of the new drug, the participants underwent cognitive and memory tests and evaluated how well they did in their daily activities., such as dressing and cooking.
The main side effect of the treatment was the accumulation of fluid in the brain, which happened in 30% the patients. New results from the ongoing clinical trial are expected in 2023.
Η Eli Lilly, said Dr. Skovronsky, intends to request from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) US and other regulatory authorities to allow the new drug to be made available to patients.