The latest clinical trial from Biogen and Eisai confirmed the amyloid hypothesis — which has been recently under debate due to the high failure rate of drug trials. Although trial after trial failed, making researchers question this hypothesis, the latest results bring a sense of hope and relief.
Statement Released Summarizing Promising Results
Biogen (based out of the United States) and Eisai (based out of Japan) recently completed the final analysis of their 18-month long, phase 2 clinical trial. Prior to this recent clinical trial, drugs tested to treat dementia yielded a failure rate of 99.6 percent.
Last week, these two companies reported evidence that was statistically significant. The drug they were testing, known as BAN2401, slowed down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Working as an antibody, BAN2401 specifically targets beta-amyloid protein.
Following this trial, the researchers predict that the final version of this drug has a 50 percent chance of becoming an approved drug. Currently, BAN2401 is the first late-stage anti-amyloid antibody to showcase significant results. At this point, the researchers and other leading experts are “cautiously optimistic.”
Summarizing their results
Initially, when testing BAN2401, the drug was unsuccessful after the first 12-month period. However, after being re-tested, the patients being treated demonstrated a significant slowing of disease progression at 18 months. Now, this team of researchers will work with regulators to conduct a larger trial as they move into phase 3.
At this time, details from the trial remain fairly vague. Testing close to 900 patients, the researchers split them into six groups. One group acted as a placebo group, whereas the remaining five groups took varying doses of BAN2401. It was found that only the patients who took the highest dose experienced significant results.
Biogen is currently testing a number of other drugs, including Aducanumab and E2609 (both of which are in phase 3). You may view their current clinical trials here.
Recent Findings Have Found That Amyloid Beta Is “Double-Edged”
As discussed, amyloid beta plaques are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s. As stated by many leading experts, this protein influences the development and progression of this neurodegenerative disease. However, a recent study found that amyloid beta may actually protect the brain against the herpes virus.
Past research has shown that people living with herpes are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s. Based on recent data, it appears that herpes may trigger the deposition of amyloid in the brain. In this case, the amyloid may act as a defense mechanism. These findings merge two major theories, including the amyloid hypothesis and the infection hypothesis.
These recent findings suggest that an antimicrobial protection model may be beneficial. This approach would focus on anti-amyloid and anti-herpes drugs in order to be protected against the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Once the disease progresses and neuroinflammation has occurred, it may be beneficial to target inflammatory molecules.
This research has led to some incredible discoveries, including the impact of the brain microbiome. Among those with Alzheimer’s, it appears that the brain’s population of microbes is severely disturbed. This approach is part of The Brain Microbiome Project.
Early Intervention Is Key
Although researchers have not yet found a way to reverse or stop Alzheimer’s, the majority of treatment options benefit those in the early stages of this disease. This is why you should seek a professional opinion as soon as you experience abnormal symptoms.
To help people better assess their current levels of thinking, as well as their memory, BrainTest® developed a scientifically-validated app that helps users detect the possible early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive impairments. In doing so, you can access a greater spectrum of supportive treatment options.
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