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Alzheimer's disease

Eisai and Biogen's Alzheimer's drug slows progression in Phase 2 trials

A healthy brain (bottom) in comparison with the brain of a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease

An experimental drug developed by the Massachusetts-based multinational Biogen and their Japanese partner Eisai has been shown to significantly slow declines in memory and thinking associated with the neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug, BAN2401, when given to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, proved to slow cognitive decline by 30% in comparison with a placebo, in a double-blind, parallel-group, randomized Phase II clinical study of 856 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Alzheimer’s protein treatment that works in human cells

One of the major stumbling blocks that science has come up against, when trying to develop potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, is that promising trials results in mice have not translated so successfully into human studies.

This is why a team of scientists at the Gladstone Institutes took a different path when examining the disease, by taking skin cells from people with Alzheimer’s then used induced pluripotent stem cell technology to create neurons and tested these cells.

Antiepileptic drug use linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's and dementia

A new study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) has revealed a link between antiepileptic drug use and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The study derived data from the nationwide register of all 70,718 citizens in Finland diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease between 2005 and 2011, as well as a 20,325-strong sample from German statutory health insurance provider Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse of patients diagnosed with dementia between 2004 and 2011.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

Another week is finished and it's been a disastrous one for research into a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Two of our top ten stories are, unfortunately, regarding the failure of late-stage candidates for treatment that have been dropped and another where one of the most promising candidates has investors fearing that it, too, may be a dud.

Diabetes drugs show potential in treating Alzheimer’s

A group of researchers at Lancaster University have identified a drug currently used to treat type 2 diabetes that has shown potential benefit in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Though the study was only conducted in mice, there is such a dearth of positive news on the development of treatments for Alzheimer’s it has been warmly welcomed.

Blood test developed for early Alzheimer’s detection

A blood test has been created that could offer an inexpensive, and less invasive, alternative to current Alzheimer’s disease tests. The method aims to detect amyloid beta in the blood, as the build-up of this protein in the brain is strongly associated with the disease.

The research, conducted by Washington University School of Medicine, may potentially be able to identify people who have unusual levels of amyloid beta in the blood. This means that an individual could be screened for Alzheimer’s risk in an easier manner than present methods.

Atomic structure of tau revealed opening up new Alzheimer’s targets

Image: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

It is a research breakthrough that has been touted as the biggest development in Alzheimer’s disease research for a quarter of century – scientists have revealed the atomic structure of abnormal tau protein.

Tau proteins are integral to healthy brains, providing support to stabilise microtubules. However, when these proteins become abnormal, they have been found to have a strong correlation with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Lilly forced to abandon Alzheimer’s drug after failed trial

Eli Lilly announced that the results of its ‘Expedition 3’ trial for an experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug meant that they would now cease development of the drug. The drug was found to show no significant statistical difference in patients from those treated with placebo.

FDA fast tracks Alzheimer’s drug from Lilly, AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly have announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted AZD3293 its fast track designation for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

AZD3293 is an oral beta secretase cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor which attempts to reduce levels of amyloid beta in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with Alzheimer’s. BACE is an enzyme associated with the development of amyloid beta and it is believed that the accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain is a key driver of disease progression.

Lundbeck, Otsuka’s trial Alzheimer's disease drug gets US FDA fast track designation

H. Lundbeck A/S (CPH: LUN) and Otsuka Pharmaceutical said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have granted Fast Track Designation to the trial agent idalopirdine to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Anders Gersel Pedersen, executive vice president and head of R&D at Lundbeck, said: "Lundbeck and Otsuka are committed to developing an innovative portfolio of drugs to tackle symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and the FDA Fast Track designation may secure a smoother and faster regulatory process to help us meet that goal."

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