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Tarenflurbil Not Found to Reduce Declines in Alzheimer's

Amyloid-β-lowering drug not associated with less cognitive or functional loss in Alzheimer's patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Tarenflurbil, an amyloid-β-lowering treatment, isnt associated with reduced cognitive decline or functional loss in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Robert C. Green, M.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,649 participants, aged 55 years and older, with mild Alzheimer's disease. They were randomized to receive 800 milligrams of tarenflurbil twice daily or placebo. Main end points included change in cognition measured by the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale -- Cognitive Subscale, and functional ability measured by the Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Studies -- activities of daily living scale.

Over 18 months of follow-up, the researchers found that tarenflurbil wasn't associated with improved outcomes. Patients taking the drug also reported more dizziness and anemia.

"This is yet another example among several drug candidates with demonstrated efficacy in transgenic mouse models of overproduction of cerebral amyloid-β peptides that failed to translate into demonstrated benefit for patients. There are many potential reasons for these failures. One is that the treatment did not achieve the expected pharmacologic effect of shifting amyloid-β peptide cleavage toward shorter peptides; there are no data on this critical point, just expectations based on experiments in mice," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

The study was supported by Myriad Pharmaceuticals. The authors reported various relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Myriad.

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