HCN News & Notes

Clinical Trials of New Alzheimer’s Drug Continue to Show Promise

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly half of Alzheimer’s patients taking a new drug, Donanemab, showed no decline in cognitive function after one year compared to 29% percent of people taking placebo, according to phase 3 clinical trial data released by Eli Lilly on May 3.

“Talk to anyone with early-stage Alzheimer’s, and they will tell you that living independently and having a higher quality of life for a longer period of time are among the most important things to them. That’s the promise of disease-slowing drugs like Donanemab,” said George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “While it’s still not a cure, the Donanemab results show that it slows the progression of Alzheimer’s during its early stages, when slowing is the most important. Also, nearly three-quarters of patients completed their treatment course after just 18 months.

“We look forward to the full data and swift FDA action, but this is exciting news,” Vradenburg added. “With FDA approval and Medicare coverage, it would mean that millions of Americans will finally have options in treating their Alzheimer’s. We have waited decades for this. We’re so grateful to the patients and their caregivers who participated in the trials of this drug — and in all the trials that came before it. Thanks to them, we have hope.”