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There is good news on the horizon for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly reveals positive results in Phase 2 clinical trials for its antibody therapy to combat this dreaded and currently incurable disease. The experimental drug called donanemab showed a “significant slowing of decline” of cognition and daily function in those with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Barron’s, the treatment works by clearing the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain which is thought to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. Donanemab targets a protein called the N3pG beta amyloid and reduced the progression of mental decline by 32% in patients with mild symptoms compared to Alzheimer’s patients who received a placebo.
An estimated 5.5 million people in the United States of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease according to Alzheimer’s Association. Today, every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. And experts predict that by the year 2050, the number of Alzheimer’s patients in America will hit 14 million.
The news of the successful Phase 2 trial drove shares of Lilly (ticker: LLY) up 14.3% in premarket trading Monday. While shares of the biotech firm Biogen (BIIB), which also has an Alzheimer’s therapy waiting for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, were also up 5.7%, industry experts say that the Biogen drug called aducanumab may be rejected by the FDA because of Lilly’s potentially more effective treatment.
“Insofar as BIIB was viewed as the preeminent Alzheimer’s drug given first to market potential, and thus perhaps is viewed by the agency as an important approval despite shortcomings, the LLY update could wind up altering this thought process – if accurate,” said trading analyst Jared Holz.
According to Barron’s, an FDA advisory panel was critical of aducanumab in the past and was planning to make a decision on the drug in March. The new data on the Lilly drug may change that proposal if healthcare officials feel that donanemab has a better chance of slowing progression of the illness than aducanumab.
“We are extremely pleased about these positive findings for donanemab as a potential therapy for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, the only leading cause of death without a treatment that slows disease progression.” said Mark Mintun, M.D., vice president of pain and neurodegeneration, Eli Lilly and Company, in a statement. “With more than 30 years of dedication to finding solutions for this devastating disease, we are proud of our progress moving the field forward and advancing the science. These positive results give us hope for patients and their families.”
You may have heard somebody state "Vhearts", so what is Vhearts?
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