UNITED STATES: Alzheimer’s disease affects tens of millions of people each year, slowly stripping away cognitive function.
Researchers have been looking for a drug that could slow or even stop its progression for years.
Recently, a new drug trial by Eli Lilly offered the best hope of slowing the disease’s inevitable progression.
According to Eli Lilly’s statement, Donanemab “significantly slowed the cognitive and functional decline in people with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.”
The test subjects who suffered from Alzheimer’s received the drug during the 18-month-long trial and showed a 35% slower memory decline.
They also displayed better cognitive function and ability to manage daily tasks, as measured by the integrated Alzheimer’s Disease Rating Scale (iADRS) scale.
The drug could also benefit those in the intermediate and advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants in intermediate and advanced stages of the disease showed a 29% and 22% slower progression of symptoms, respectively.
The destructive effects of Alzheimer’s disease on both patients and their families are well known.
Even more so given the ineffectiveness of previous attempts to reduce the disease progression rate.
With this news, people with Alzheimer’s and their families have some hope to slow down the disease that once seemed as inevitable as it was unstoppable.
Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., PhD, president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said that the company’s scientists have trailblazed in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease over the last 20 years.
Lilly scientists have elucidated the basic mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and discovered imaging and blood biomarker tools to track the pathology.
He expressed his pleasure in Donanemab, which yielded positive clinical results with impressive statistical significance for people with Alzheimer’s disease in the trial.
He added that this is the first Phase 3 trial of any Alzheimer’s investigational medicine to deliver a 35% reduction in clinical and functional activity decline.
While the new drug represents a significant breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s, it is not a cure.
Even patients who respond positively to the new drug will experience declining cognitive functions with the progression of the disease, albeit at a slower pace than before.
Nonetheless, the trial offers cautious optimism to those affected by Alzheimer’s disease, with experts describing the results as “real” and “clinically meaningful.”
It is possible to overhype any progress towards a treatment, given the little good news in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the results of this Phase 3 clinical trial are undoubtedly promising. Eli Lilly will proceed with global regulatory submissions as quickly as possible and is considering submitting a report to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this quarter.
The drug could be a game-changer for millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, offering hope for a brighter future.