A new drug to treat people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This the first drug which has been approved, slows the cognitive decline caused by the disease. The drug made by Biogen has been named Aducanumab.
This is the only approved drug to treat the disease and not just the underlying symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. The drug targets a sticky compound in the brain known as amyloid-beta, which plays a role in the cognitive decline of patients. The treatment involves receiving a transfusion once a month.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that six million Americans have been diagnosed with the illness, and the group expects that number to rise to 13 million by 2050.
Aducanumab has had a long and controversial road to approval. Biogen stopped working on the drug in March 2019 after an independent group determined the drug was unlikely to work. Several months later, Biogen reversed course and said it would seek approval for the drug, citing a new study that found it “reduced clinical decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.”
Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a press release, that they are well-aware of the attention surrounding this approval. “We understand that Aduhelm has garnered the attention of the press, the Alzheimer’s patient community, our elected officials, and other interested stakeholders. With treatment for a serious, life-threatening disease in the balance, it makes sense that so many people were following the outcome of this review,” Cavazzoni added. Courtesy: iHeart Radio, Pic Courtesy: saga.co.in