Alzheimer's drug disappoints
  • Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:00pm

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson stated on Monday that they have ended the development of an intravenous drug that was supposed to aid patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to Bloomberg.com. The drug, known as bapineuzumab, was going through final stage trials until it failed to improve symptoms of dementia in the second stage of those trials. 

The trials were conducted on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, according to Yahoo.  During the latest trial, the drug was tested on nearly 1,300 patients who lacked a gene called ApoE4 which increases the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, the site said.  On July 23, Pfizer announced that the drug failed to work on patients who had the gene.

Reuters reported today that researchers only “anticipated a slim chance of success.” Scientists suggest that the next step is to test the drug on patients who do not yet show symptoms, but neither Pfizer nor J&J have plans to do so.

The most common Alzheimer’s symptoms are:

  • confusion;
  • memory loss;
  • aggression; and
  • wandering.

Currently, the best treatments for Alzheimer’s are those that can slow the disease and temporarily ease symptoms. With over 5 million Americans suffering from this form of dementia, many people were counting on bapineuzumab.

“We are obviously very disappointed in the outcome of this trial,” said Steven J. Romano, senior vice president of Pfizer. “We are also saddened by the lost opportunity to provide a meaningful advance for patients afflicted with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.”

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