Biogen Speeds New Alzheimer's Drug to Phase 3 Clinical Trial
Encouraging results from the Biogen Phase 1b Alzheimer's clinical trial for the new drug Aducanumab or BIIB037 were presented today at the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases and Related Neurological Disorders in Nice, France.
Biogen idec is manufacturing aducanumab; however aducanumab was originally developed by the Swiss biotech Neurimmune. The results of the clinical trial has sparked much interest in the scientific community as researchers continue the battle to find an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
Biogen Phase 1b Clinical Trial
The participants of the trial were grouped into five groups. Four groups received a placebo and the fifth group was administered the drug. The drug is time and dose dependent. Only participants who were diagnosed with early or mild Alzheimer's were allowed into the trial.
The drug is promising as the results of the clinical trial showed a clinical decline of amyloid plaque building up in the group of participants which were administered the antibody. Amyloid plaque is attributed to the cognitive and neuromotor decline of Alzheimer's patients as the disease progresses.
What Is Aducanumab or BIIB037 ?
Aducanumab or BIIB037 is an antibody which is collected from donors who are older with good cognitive skills and no signs of Alzheimer's disease. It is theorized the donors have an immune system which is resistant to Alzheimer's disease. The clinical results of the Phase 1b trial has generated enough promise to speed the trial to a Phase 3 trial.
The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still has to set the qualifications and approve the guidelines for a Phase 3 trial; but Biogen is expected to recruit participants late in 2015.
Alzheimer's remains one of the most underreported and underfunded diseases which currently affects 5 million Americans. The cost of care for Alzheimer's and dementia related diseases is attributed to one in five Medicare dollars. Researchers have set the goal of finding a treatment by 2025; the cost of the research is estimated at $2 billion a year. The National Institute on Aging continues to rework the allocation of funds dedicated to Alzheimer's research. The 2015 United States federal budget has allocated $638 million to Alzheimer's research and treatment.
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