San Francisco, CA (November 30, 2022) – The phase 3 trial results for lecanemab and gantenerumab presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference demonstrate why optimal treatment of Alzheimer’s will require drugs that do more than clear amyloid plaques. While lecanemab had an effect on slowing cognitive decline and removing amyloid plaques in the brain, gantenerumab had neither effect according to data reported today by drugmaker Roche.
“This is a historic CTAD conference, reflecting tremendous progress in Alzheimer’s research and drug development. We have seen a lot of encouraging news, including the lecanemab results and clinical trial data from other classes of drugs that demonstrate the diversity of the pipeline,” said Dr. Howard Fillit, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF. “The mixed data shows that while anti-amyloids are a promising starting point, we will need a combination of drugs aimed at different targets informed by the biology of aging to effectively treat this disease.”
According to Dr. Fillit, today’s results demonstrate the need to study and evaluate each drug on its own merits – especially with an additional anti-amyloid antibody from Eli Lilly, donanemab, expected to share data early next year – and pursue every reasonable avenue to find treatments aimed at inflammation, vascular and metabolic dysfunction, genetic variations, and other underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs hold the promise of being combined in precision treatments, following an approach used successfully to treat cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases of aging.
The rapidly advancing drug pipeline is matched by ongoing breakthroughs in accessible and affordable diagnostic tools that can tell which underlying causes are at play in each person’s Alzheimer’s. Blood tests that can provide key information about amyloid and tau levels in the brain are now available commercially and other minimally invasive tests, including blood tests and eye scans, will soon be available. Researchers are also making advances in the use of digital tools, including wearable devices and at home digital tests, to provide earlier-than-ever diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, perhaps even before symptoms are evident.
“The entire Alzheimer’s ecosystem has worked diligently to get us to this point,” said Dr. Fillit. “It’s has taken decades of scientific study, learning from every success and setback, risk-taking investment by the ADDF and other venture philanthropies, and the scientific curiosity of researchers across the world to get us here. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
ABOUT THE ALZHEIMER’S DRUG DISCOVERY FOUNDATION
Founded in 1998 by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotech industry. The ADDF’s leadership and contributions to the field have played a pivotal role in bringing the first Alzheimer’s PET scan (Amyvid™) and blood test (PrecivityAD™) to market, as well as fueling the current robust and diverse drug pipeline. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded more than $209 million to fund over 690 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs, biomarker programs and clinical trials in 19 countries. To learn more, please visit: http://www.alzdiscovery.org/.