Alzheimer's experimental drug may slow progression of disease, but there are risks: experts - Fox News
Dec 03, 2022 2 mins, 37 secs

One-in-nine people over the age of 65 have some form of Alzheimer’s, and the disease is only becoming more common, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The experimental drug lecanemab has indicated a slowing of cognitive decline progression by 27% in patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s, according to a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"These findings show that lecanemab offers promise for people with early Alzheimer’s disease, with a significant slowing of decline and a reasonable safety profile," the study’s lead researcher, Dr.


In the study, Van Dyck’s researchers said the drug lecanemab "reduced markers of amyloid in early Alzheimer’s disease and resulted in moderately less decline on measures of cognition and function than placebo at 18 months — but was associated with adverse events.".

The drug is a monoclonal antibody — it interferes with the formation of amyloid plaque, considered a major culprit in Alzheimer's disease, according to experts. .

The study included 1,795 participants who had early Alzheimer’s disease. .

Of the participants, 898 received lecanemab, while 897 received a placebo in 235 sites located in North America, Asia and Europe from March 2019 to March 2021, according to the study.

"Analyses at 18 months showed dose- and time-dependent clearance of amyloid with lecanemab, and the drug was associated with less clinical decline on some measures than placebo," the researchers said in the published study.

A score of 0.5 to 6 is consistent with early Alzheimer’s disease, according to the researchers. .

Officials at the Alzheimer’s Discovery Drug Foundation (ADDF) said in a released statement that lecanemab, which is up for FDA approval in early 2023, represents a positive step toward treatment of the disease and "welcomed news for the millions of patients and families living with Alzheimer’s."

The Alzheimer’s Association said it was encouraged by the global clinical trial of lecanemab. 

"Unique drug combinations matched to each patient’s underlying pathologies is the answer and our best hope to give patients long-lasting relief from this insidious and progressive disease," Fillit said in the released statement. 

The Alzheimer’s Association also released a statement regarding the phase three-trial results. 

One expert who was not involved in the study told Fox News Digital she was excited to see the statistically significant difference between the lecanemab and placebo groups in the study — but cautioned that more research on the Alzheimer's drug is needed. 

It said the study "confirms this treatment can meaningfully change the course of the disease for people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease

The Alzheimer’s Association calls for the Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval of lecanemab."

Gieniusz, who was not involved in the study, said she was excited to see the statistically significant difference between the lecanemab and placebo groups in the study — but cautioned that more research on the drug is needed. 

"The FDA is expected to decide whether to grant accelerated approval to lecanemab by January 6, 2023," said the Alzheimer's Association. 

"The FDA is expected to decide whether to grant accelerated approval to lecanemab by January 6, 2023," the association said

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