A new Alzheimer’s medication, lecanemab could result in a breakthrough in the fight versus this insidious disease. That drug has now been in Phase 3 trials since May of 2021, according to a recent report by the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research is led by University College London’s Dementia Research Institute.
Findings in the trials so far point to significantly mitigated neurological symptoms in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients, with dosing appearing to slow cognitive and memory decline by some 27% after 18 months.
Professor Bart De Strooper, director at the University College London's Dementia Research Institute says, “This trial proves that Alzheimer's disease can be treated."
CNN reported that researchers conducted medical trials on 1,795 adults, aged 50 to 90, suffering from early Alzheimer’s, CNN reported.
Half of participants were administered the dementia drug, with the other half given placebos. Lecanemab was delivered to subjects via injection every two weeks, and works by clearing the accumulation of amyloid, which is the toxic plaques in the brain believed to cause neurological problems seen in Alzheimer’s patients.
At the outset of the testing, participants given the drug had an average amyloid toxic plaque levels of 77.92 centiloids, as compared to just 75.03 centiloids in the placebo group.
Following 18 months of treatment, the lecanemab study group’s levels plummeted by from 77.92 to 22.44 centiloids, a radical drop of over 70 percent, while their placebo-taking counterparts increased by 3.64 centiloids of toxic plaque.
“I truly believe it represents the beginning of the end," said Professor John Hardy, group leader at University College London's Dementia Research Institute.
Medical researchers are still troubleshooting and working to address side effects. One in ten (10) subjects suffered from swelling in the brain and one in six experienced brain bleeds.
The medical findings will require further laboratory and patient trials to address the risks and impact, should the medication be approved for regular patient use.
Lecanemab has been granted “priority review” by the US Food and Drug Administration, suggesting the federal agency will decide on its approval, perhaps in the coming six months.