Alzheimer’s drug may not be as effective as thought

By Danica Kirka, AP Medical Writer LONDON (AP) — The effectiveness of an experimental genetic medicine to treat Alzheimer’s disease may not be as high as previously thought, a fresh analysis concludes. The U.S….

Alzheimer’s drug may not be as effective as thought

By Danica Kirka, AP Medical Writer

LONDON (AP) — The effectiveness of an experimental genetic medicine to treat Alzheimer’s disease may not be as high as previously thought, a fresh analysis concludes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently asked for more data on the drug, called anti-beta amyloid antibody, or ALZ12. Among the questions asked: whether the drug helps prevent further buildup of the protein that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.

A company analysis that was published Monday in the Lancet found a 25 percent reduction in levels of the toxic amyloid protein after one year of treatment, compared with a 34 percent reduction after two years of treatment.

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Pediatricians urge flu shots amid reports of increased illness Levels of the therapeutic antibody did not help the brain function enough to protect against the toxic protein in a key biomarker test.

“The effect is, if you did a test for free memory, it would probably not help you,” said Claire Davies, a professor of psychiatry at York University who was not involved in the research. But she said the original study, from 2009, found an effect on cognitive function.

Under an agreement with the FDA, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will conduct additional tests in sicker patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and then the effectiveness will be checked again. The company plans to decide by February if it will ask for an accelerated approval.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It can only be cured by stopping it from progressing, but many experimental drugs have failed to show results.

The Alzheimer’s Association predicts there will be 5.7 million Americans living with the disease by 2050.

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