Pharmaceutical companies Biogen and Eisai announced they are to discontinue two phase III Aducanumab trials of the Alzheimer’s drug.
The ENGAGE and EMERGE trials were designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of aducanumab in people with a confirmed diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild Alzheimer’s disease. The news of the Aducanumab trials being discontinued is a setback, however Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, encourages to not lose hope.
There are other drug discovery programmes alongside Aducanumab trials
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “There are hundreds of thousands of people living with Alzheimer’s in the UK and this news is clearly disappointing for them and their families.
“Once the full trial results are available, we must ensure they are shared and analysed in detail so that researchers can learn valuable lessons for the future.
“Alzheimer’s brain changes start decades before symptoms start to show and it is possible that anti-amyloid treatments may show benefits if given even earlier in the disease. While improving the early detection of Alzheimer’s will help to answer this important question, todays findings reiterate the importance of exploring a range of treatment approaches for the disease.
“Alzheimer’s is a complex disease and to reflect this we need a range of drug discovery programmes targeting different aspects of the disease. The Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance currently has 23 active drug discovery projects targeting harmful brain inflammation and other damaging processes in the disease.
“We must continue to support the pioneering researchers”
Evans adds: “While today’s news is a set-back, it’s important to remember there are more than 20 potential Alzheimer’s drugs still in final stage clinical trials. We must continue to support the pioneering researchers across the world who are taking us closer to unravelling this complex disease.
“Now is the time to push even harder for the funding that will accelerate the search for that much-needed Alzheimer’s treatment.”