About half of adults who are aged 85 and over are suffering from Alzheimer’s, and symptoms of the horrible disease can appear in people as young as 30 years old. Also known as the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s is now getting the first new drug in almost 20 years that received approval from government health officials. CBSNews.com brings the great news.
The new drug is Aduhelm (or aducanumab, by its scientific name), and it was developed by Biogen in partnership with Eisai Co. from Japan. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) revealed that it granted approval for the drug.
Can Aduhelm cure Alzheimer’s?
The Adulhem drug didn’t manage to reverse mental decline. Instead, it did succeed in slowing it down. Although US regulators add a lot of faith in the drug, it’s likely to produce disagreements among researchers, physicians, and patient groups.
FDA approves the first treatment directed at the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s disease, which is expected to reduce the clinical decline of patients with this disease: https://t.co/xEVvn7V2Fi pic.twitter.com/OaADO8DkZB
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) June 7, 2021
Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, who is director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said:
We are well-aware of the attention surrounding this approval,
We ultimately decided to use the Accelerated Approval pathway — a pathway intended to provide earlier access to potentially valuable therapies for patients with serious diseases where there is an unmet need.
In order to confirm the drug’s benefits, the FDA requires a follow-up study from the drugmaker. The chance of pulling the drug off from the market is real, as the FDA could do it in case the study doesn’t show good results.
A total of over 6 million people living in the US are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. About 6.2 million Americans who are at least 65 years old are living with the terrible disease in 2021. Also in the US, deaths caused by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have increased 16% during the ongoing COVID pandemic.