For those who read this blog on a regular basis, you have seen me follow the up and downs of the most promising Alzheimer’s drug for the last three years. Reading deeper into the research as I did back then, I was heartened by even the limited success the leading drug seemed to have on those in earlier stages of memory loss.
But in March 2019, Biogen the pharmaceutical giant taking on this monstrous epidemic conceded to the FDA that even though their drug aducanumab was in the third and final phase of its trial, they were discontinuing their research. Well, times have changed yet again.
It is sad to say that I first read about it in a senior living blog titled: “Whole concept of senior living will change’ if Alzheimer’s drug is approved.” The underlying message was that your senior living companies will be in financial trouble if they can not sell as much memory care. This parallels how I first found out they were discontinuing the drug trials – in the stock market reaction.
The best part of the article is this statement:
Biogen said that a new analysis involving a larger dataset of Phase 3 studies showed success with a higher dose of the drug.
“Patients who received aducanumab experienced significant benefits on measures of cognition and function such as memory, orientation and language,” Biogen said in a news release. “Patients also experienced benefits on activities of daily living, including conducting personal finances, performing household chores such as cleaning, shopping and doing laundry, and independently traveling out of the home.”
Most of the press about this particular company and its potential wonder drug, has to do with stock price and looking for the big payoff. Meanwhile as the aging into dementia territory continues, we need as many avenues into understanding this disease that can be found. If this drug never comes to market not for medical reasons but because the profit margin is not wide enough, it will deserve public shame.