Progress with new Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab announced by manufacturers Eisai and Biogen

Yesterday (27 September 2022), Eisai Co. Ltd. and Biogen announced top-line results for a major trial on the drug lecanemab in slowing down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's Society comments on this Alzheimer’s progression drug hope.

Read our most recent news on lecanemab

'Alzheimer's Society comment on 'breakthrough' Alzheimer's drug' (30 November 2022)

Key things to note:

  • In top-line results from a phase 3 clinical trial called Clarity AD, lecanemab has been shown to slow down the decline in thinking and memory skills in people living with early Alzheimer’s disease by 27%
  • Lecanemab is a drug that targets amyloid protein build-ups in the brains of people living with Alzheimer’s disease, marking them to be cleared away by the brain’s immune system. 
  • Clearing away these amyloid protein build-ups has been long explored as a potential way of slowing down how quickly a person with Alzheimer’s disease’s memory and thinking skills get worse – but clinical trials have struggled to show any beneficial effects on symptoms in the past. 
  • This news represents a potentially game-changing step towards treatments that can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the UK – however, we await the full results, released on 29 November 2022.

Alzheimer’s Society, whose research 30 years ago was responsible for the importance of amyloid plaques in dementia treatment, responds to the latest news about lecanemab.

Dr Richard Oakley, Associate Director of Research, says:

This research could be game-changing in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

'For decades, people with Alzheimer’s disease have been desperately waiting for a drug to slow down the progress of the disease, so this exciting news represents a real breakthrough moment in dementia research.

'Alzheimer’s Society’s research was responsible for the breakthrough that showed the importance of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease, which has made this research possible.

'We look forward to seeing the full data in November, to better understand how this drug could have a real impact on the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the UK.

'I believe that research will cure dementia, and this is a vital milestone on that journey.

We have never known more about dementia, and this is a pivotal moment.

'With further promising drugs in the pipeline, we can’t stress enough how important it is that the Government recommits to the dementia mission, to get the funding needed to beat dementia and transform hundreds of thousands of lives.

'Now is the time to invest in research and tackle one of the biggest medical challenges facing the planet.'

Read the official press release from Eisai Co. Ltd., published on 28 September 2022.

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