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For the First Time in 20 Years U.S Approves a New Drug for Battling Alzheimer’s

The FDA has approved a new medicine for the Alzheimer’s, the United States making a fundamental development in the battle against the disease, for the first time in nearly 20 years. More than 30 million people around the globe are thought to have the Alzheimer’s, most of them being around 65 years old.

That being said, Aducanumab is the new ray of hope for those who have struggled with the most common form of dementia. The drug is targeting the underlying cause rather than its symptoms, says bbc. com.

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A disease with no cure

The disease was first named and discovered by Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and  has left a path of cognitive destruction for its victims ever since it was cataloged, and up until this point in 20 years there were no significant treatments which could have helped in any way the patients. This demanding, but dry market has few made few discoveries among the years such as: donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and so on; which can reduce the symptoms and help keep some of them under control.

 

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About the medicine

The new wonder  drug was developed by  Biogen and the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Eisai. Aducanumab’s target is amyloid, a protein which is responsible for destroying cells and causing dementia, including: memory and communication issues, thinking complications and high confusion.

It is not yet known how much will the medicine cost, but analysts  have determined the price to go around 50,000 USD a year per patient, while some discuss it to be placed between 2,500 to 8,300 USD per patient a year. The developing companies have denied to make any statements on the pricing matter. What is certain though is that access will be limited to those with a confirmed diagnosis.

 

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Controversy

Aducanumab made headlines in 2016 when an early trial showed the first encouraging results of an Alzheimer’s treatment in decades. Previous efforts to develop drugs and vaccines to control the expansion of amyloid protein plaques in the brain were frustrating failures.

The first time Aducanumab was made public was five years ago, when it showed some positive results in the fight against the sickness, which generated a silver lining for those suffering. However, because of some difficulties in 2019 when the subjects of the studies which were administrated the medication did not do better than the placebo given subjects. Despite that, the Japanese and American company have stated the problem with their trials was misreading the data, not the drug itself.

Still, in the present day, some scientists have put under the question mark the actual result of the medicine mainly because the latest trials, which involved over 3,000 people who were given a monthly dose, didn’t make a difference or a significant change on the patients. However, the manufacturer, Biogen, argued that the reason for that was the fact that the dose needs to be given in a higher dose.

There is still a strong divided opinion between the brilliant minds in the world regarding the wonder drug, the Alzheimer’s Society calling the drug ,,promising” adding it is ,,just the beginning of the road to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease”. That being said, the FDA wants the developer of the drug to run additional placebo studies to verify its effectiveness and make sure it is safe to be placed on the market.

 

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What’s next

The medicine is set to be approved by the regulatory authorities in the UK, which might take up to one year. Nonetheless, the NGOs and the Alzheimer’s Association are making pressions in order for the process of approval to be faster and put an end for those suffering and their families. Nonetheless this is a huge discovery and an extra step to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, the scientists making fundamental changes not only on the medical domain, but in people’s lives as well.

You might also like: 9 Myths You Might Believe About Alzheimer’s Disease

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