Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise

Wyeth and Elan Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, reported their experimental Alzheimer's treatment drug helped certain patients participating in their clinical trials. People without the gene ApoE4 showed increased cognitive ability after the drug, bapineuzumab, was administered. Of Alzheimer suffers, 70 percent don't have the gene, meaning the drug may benefit them. Unfortunately, no clinical benefits were reported for people who do have the gene.

Bapineuzumab, a man-made antibody, removes protein deposits in the brain. If the drug makes it through more clinical trials and is approved for use, it could earn Wyeth and Elan Corp. $6.5 billion. Not too bad for ridding the world of a terrible disease that affects 5.2 million Americans. This number will only increase as Baby Boomers age.

Of course, it's in the company's interest to say the drug improves cognitive ability and get it approved and into the market, yet how can you fault a drug company for trying to develop and market a product that would help so many?

(Original reporting done by Bloomberg.com)

1 comment:

K said...

Thanks for the information on a new alzheimers drug.

We recently wrote an article on how infared light may be able to diagnose Alzheimer's desease at Brain Blogger. A definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease requires microscopic examination of brain tissue, which is something that cannot be performed safely in a living patient. However, near-infrared optical spectroscopy may be the answer to successfully diagnosing a sick patient.

We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.