Two Experimental Drugs for Rare, Inherited Alzheimer Disease Disappoint

Both drugs designed to target and neutralize amyloid beta in the brain

depressed woman

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Two experimental drugs do not appear to slow memory loss or mental decline in patients in the early stages of a rare, inherited, early-onset form of Alzheimer disease, according to initial results from a clinical trial.

The international phase 2 and 3 clinical trial separately evaluated the two drugs -- solanezumab (Eli Lilly and Co.) and gantenerumab (Roche and its U.S. affiliate, Genentech) -- in nearly 200 people with dominantly inherited Alzheimer disease. Both drugs were designed to target and neutralize amyloid beta in the brain. Patients were followed for up to seven years, with an average of five years. Initial analysis suggests that neither drug achieved the primary outcome of the study, which was a slowing of mental decline as measured by thinking and memory tests.

"Although the drugs we evaluated were not successful, the trial will move us forward in understanding Alzheimer's," study director Randall Bateman, M.D., a professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a university news release, adding that the study can help guide future research into the disease, including the more common form that typically strikes after age 65.

A more detailed analysis of the trial's data will be presented for the first time at the Advances in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Therapies focus meeting, to be held from April 2 to 5 in Vienna. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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