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First Drug To Slow Alzheimer's Could Be Available To Millions Soon

First Drug To Slow Alzheimer's Could Be Available To Millions Soon

US biotechnology firm, Biogen Inc., surprised the medical world after releasing the results of their new drug, aducanumab, suggesting it had indeed developed the very first effective medication to counter the disease.

 Alzheimer's disease is said to be caused by "a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time," according to Mayo Clinic. It further states how there are no treatments available currently that can completely cure or alter its process in the brain. That being said, the news about a recent "groundbreaking" drug has uplifted the hopes of thousands of dementia and  Alzheimer’s suffers.  According to a report by Daily Mail, US biotech firm, Biogen Inc. took the medical world by surprise after releasing the results of their new drug, aducanumab, suggesting it has indeed developed the very first effective medication to counter the disease.



 

 

After many years of dementia failure, the company dramatically announced earlier this week that they have come across a "transformative discovery" which could potentially be life-changing for people suffering from dementia. It is supposed to "reduce the clinical decline" of patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s reports Independent. The drug giant announced the trial data for the medicine is legitimate enough to apply for licenses in the US, Europe, and Japan early next year.



 

Several companies have spent billions of dollars researching a possible cure for the disease but no one has ever gotten to the point where they were prepared to submit an application to drug regulators in order to get a license a medication for Alzheimer's disease, until now. Biogen claims to have results that show how aducanumab significantly slowed down the progression of the disease in more than 3,000 people with Alzheimer’s. After their clinical studies ended in March this year, the company decided to seek regulatory approval for this drug. 



 

According to reports, Aducanumab is specifically designed to target "amyloid beta," which is a toxic protein causing plaques to build up in the brain. These clusters of amyloid protein, in turn, hinders the brain's functions by interfering with the brain cells. Biogen had conducted two trials for aducanumab, with the first one suggesting its ineffectiveness. However, after polling several smaller studies, the company found that the once who had been administered the highest dose of the drug was most effective. Patients in the early stages of this disease responded better than others.



 

The CEO of the company,  Michel Vounatsos revealed they have already received encouragement from the US regulator the Food and Drugs Administration. "We got clear support from the FDA," said Vounatsos. "With such a devastating disease that affects tens of millions worldwide, today’s announcement is truly heartening in the fight against Alzheimer’s." If everything is carried out smoothly and the application is approved, the medicine could be available within two years.



 

"People affected by Alzheimer's have waited a long time for a life-changing new treatment and this exciting announcement offers new hope that one could be in sight," said chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK,  Hilary Evans in reaction to the joyous announcement. Dr. James Pickett from the Alzheimer’s Society said, "After the trial being stopped earlier this year because it appeared not to work, further analysis suggests that it does benefit people with dementia in the earliest stages. We’re waiting for further data but this could be the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in over 15 years, and as such, has the potential to be a transformative discovery."



 

 

However, there were some experts exercised caution by pointing out that the company was yet to release the complete result. "We have been down this road before. We are only being allowed to see a cherry-picked selection of data and I suspect once we see the full results we will see that the clinical effect is very small indeed," said University College London's Professor, Rob Howard. Another, Samuel Gandy of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre in New York confessed, "I want to believe, but I’m not ready to suspend disbelief."



 

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