New Alzheimer’s drug slows cognitive decline by 35%, trial results show

8 May 2023 • A new Alzheimer’s drug slowed cognitive decline by 35%, according to late-stage trial results, raising the prospect of a second effective treatment for the disease. Donanemab met all goals of the trial and slowed progression of the condition by 35% to 36% compared with a placebo in 1,182 people with early-stage Alzheimer’s, the drugmakers reported.

Patients who received the monthly antibody infusion during an 18-month study demonstrated a 35% slower decline in memory, thinking and their ability to perform daily activities compared with those who did not receive the treatment, Eli Lilly’s data showed. Patients who took donanemab were 39% less likely to progress to the next stage of the disease during the study, according to the trial results.

But the treatment’s benefits will have to be weighed against the risk of brain swelling and bleeding that can be serious and even fatal in rare cases. Three participants in the trial died from these side effects. About 24% of patients who received donanemab showed brain swelling on an MRI, but only 6% displayed actual symptoms. About 31% of patients had small brain bleeds called microhemorrhages, compared with 13.6% among patients who didn’t receive the treatment.

In a separate measure, patients who received donanemab showed 40% less decline in their ability to conduct daily activities at 18 months. This means they could better manage finances, drive, pursue hobbies and hold. The drugmakers plan to apply for Food and Drug Administration approval of donanemab as soon as this quarter, according to the company.

Source: Lilly | Read full story

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