Excellent summary of test results for new Alzheimer's drugs
Amyloid-Targeted Alzheimer's Drugs Don't Improve Cognition in Two Sets of Trials — Physician’s First Watch
Amyloid-Targeted Alzheimer's Drugs Don't Improve Cognition in Two Sets of Trials
By Joe Elia
Two monoclonal antibodies designed to lessen amyloid-beta deposition in patients with Alzheimer disease fail to produce meaningful clinical results, according to studies in the New England Journal of Medicine.
One drug, bapineuzumab, was tested in 2450 patients with mild-to-moderate disease during two trials. Patients were randomized to active treatment or placebo every 13 weeks. At the 78-week mark, cognitive and disability scores did not differ between the groups. Findings were similar for carriers and noncarriers of an apolipoprotein E variant.
The other monoclonal antibody, solanezumab, was similarly tested in two trials among some 2000 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's. Here too, solanezumab failed to distinguish itself from placebo in cognitive and disability scores by trial's end at 80 weeks.
Despite these results, editorialists advocate continuing to pursue therapies based on the "amyloid hypothesis" while "accepting that we lack clarity on the roles that different forms of [amyloid-beta] play in the disease."