Company Claims New Drug Can Slow Down Alzheimer’s

October 23, 2019 Updated: October 23, 2019

U.S. biotechnology company Biogen announced on Tuesday that it has created the first treatment to effectively slow down Alzheimer’s disease.

The company said it will soon be seeking regulatory approval in the United States for the drug, called aducanumab, and it could be available within two years.

In a statement on its website, Biogen said the discovery was “the result of groundbreaking research and is a testament to Biogen’s steadfast determination to follow the science and do the right thing for patients.”

According to Alzheimer’s News Today, aducanumab is an antibody designed to target amyloid, a protein which forms abnormal deposits on the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

These abnormal deposits disrupt communication between brain cells which eventually leads to brain cell death.

Aducanumab works by reducing the number of these abnormal deposits present in the brain.

Trial data of over 3,000 people by Biogen shows patients given high doses of aducanumab experienced a “significant” boost to their memory and language skills.

The company said: “Patients who received aducanumab experienced significant benefits on measures of cognition and function such as memory, orientation, and language.

“Patients also experienced benefits on activities of daily living including conducting personal finances, performing household chores such as cleaning, shopping, and doing laundry, and independently traveling out of the home.”

It added that, if approved, “aducanumab would become the first therapy to reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s disease and would also be the first therapy to demonstrate that removing amyloid beta resulted in better clinical outcomes.”

Biogen plans to file a Biologics License Application (BLA) in early 2020 and hopes the treatment will be available in international markets, including Europe and Japan.

Chief executive of Biogen, Michel Vounatsos said the company had already received encouragement from the Food and Drugs Administration.

“With such a devastating disease that affects tens of millions worldwide, today’s announcement is truly heartening in the fight against Alzheimer’s,” he said.

Vounatsos added that the company is hopeful it can offer patients the treatment in the future.

Following the news, Biogen shares soared by over 35 percent on Tuesday, adding $14.9 billion to the company’s market value.

The company had previously lost a quarter of its market value back in March when an analysis suggested that the drug would be unable to meets its targets and trials were halted.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million people in the United States are currently living with the disease.