The US health authority has approved a new drug for Alzheimer’s. This could help one group of people in particular.
According to the Alzheimer Research Initiative, more than 55 million people worldwide were living with dementia last year. Of these, the proportion of those suffering from Alzheimer’s was 60 to 70 percent.
Some of these people could now hope for a new drug, because the US health authority FDA has now approved the drug called Leqembi, reports the “Tagesschau”.
New drug for Alzheimer’s
Almost 1,800 subjects took part in the study conducted by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai and the US company Biogen. Some of them were given the drug lecanemab. The drug breaks down the protein deposits in the brain that are typical of the disease. A second group received a placebo.
A 3-phase experiment showed that the progression of the disease was delayed by 27 percent in those subjects who were administered the active ingredient lecanemab. Thus, the drug should slow down a decrease in memory and thinking ability by five months. There was no effect in subjects who had been given the placebo.
Leqembi is primarily aimed at those patients who are in an early stage. The drug can therefore not cure the disease, but only slow down the progression of the disease. So far, however, it is unclear when the drug will also be available in Europe and thus in Germany.
The positive result of the study and the resulting approval in the USA mean that the chances of approval in Europe are good, writes the Alzheimer Research Initiative. According to the association, Eisai and Biogen have already submitted an application for approval to the European Medicines Agency Ema.
Scientists warn of side effects
“This study has proven that it is a safe and effective treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” quoted the “Tagesschau” – director Teresa Buracchio – responsible for neurology drugs at the FDA.
Scientists have warned of health risks with regard to the now approved drug. In clinical tests, for example, there were occasional cases of brain swelling and bleeding. According to the Alzheimer Research Initiative, this affected 17 percent of the subjects.