BAN2401: Hope or Hokum?
From the Autumn 2018 issue of Care and cure magazine - following the announcement that a drug trial showed positive results, we take a look at whether the hype is justified and what the results mean.
What are the claims about the drug trial?
In July, the first news emerged that a drug called BAN2401 was producing positive effects in people with dementia.
Biogen and Eisai – the companies involved – both saw their stock prices rise after a press release said the drug had improved cognition in people receiving the highest doses of the drug and reduced the amount of amyloid in their brains.
What is BAN2401?
BAN2401 is a molecule designed to specifically bind to toxic amyloid protein and allow it to be removed.
The drug is given twice a month via an injection and has been shown to be safe with minimal side effects.
What does the research show?
We had to wait until the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago to get our hands on the hard facts of the research.
Although the results look good at this time, it is still too early to be anything but cautiously optimistic.
Read on for our response to this research announcement and comment to the media
What happens next?
The next step for BAN2401 is the phase 3 trial, in which thousands of people at different biomedical research centres would be given the drug. With a larger number of people taking the drug and potentially seeing positive results, we could be more confident that the drug is safe and that it really works.
Even if all goes well, this drug won’t be available for several years. Yet it is encouraging to see pharmaceutical companies using their expertise to tackle dementia.