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Alzheimer’s drug trials shelved

6 August 2012

Alzheimer’s drug trials shelved

A new drug, which was designed to halt the development of plaque in the brain, has failed in the later stages of testing after it proved unsuccessful in improving cognitive and functional performance.

The study looked at patients that had a gene associated with a greater risk of Alzheimer’s. They were given the trial drug and compared to a secondary group who did not have the gene. The results showed that the effects were largely the same, meaning that the drug really had no effect.

Some believed the drug wouldn’t show any positive results as they were treating people whose brains were already damaged. William Thies, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association said, “One of the strong thoughts in the field is that you really have to treat people before they become develop dementia.” He added that, “These studies are terribly important for us to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, and that part of the process is just starting as the data continues to be crunched in a variety of ways.”

Steven Romano, head of Pfizer’s Medicines Development Group said, “We are also saddened by the lost opportunity to provide a meaningful advance for patients afflicted with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.”

There is still much more research to be done in this area but eventually we may be able to develop a drug that produces positive results.