ADDF Statement on Topline Results of Phase 3 Trial of Amyloid-Clearing Drug Lecanemab

September 28, 2022

Category: Research Update

While not a magic bullet, the modest effectiveness of lecanemab reported by Eisai/Biogen would give physicians one part of the treatment puzzle—combination therapies remain the holy grail

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is encouraged to see the positive data reported today by Eisai and Biogen for their amyloid-clearing monoclonal antibody lecanemab. According to the companies, lecanemab reduced cognitive decline by 27% compared to placebo and reduced amyloid levels in the brain in the phase 3 CLARITY AD clinical trial.

“The combination of the biomarker change – reduced amyloid – plus slowing of cognitive decline in this study is encouraging news for the 57 million patients around the world living with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Howard Fillit, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF. “However, amyloid-clearing drugs will provide an incremental benefit at best and there is still a pressing need for the next generation of drugs focused on other targets based on our knowledge of the biology of aging. We are optimistic about the future as many of these drugs are in development, with 75% of drugs in the pipeline now targeting non-amyloid pathways of neurodegeneration.”

Eisai and Biogen will present the study results in November at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference (CTAD) in San Francisco. The conference will also feature presentations on a broad range of diverse drug targets, informed by the biology of aging, as a driver of this new era of Alzheimer’s research.

According to Dr. Fillit, our success in fighting Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will come from the kind of combination therapies that are the standard of care for other major diseases of aging, such as heart disease, cancer, and hypertension. The goal, which we are closer to than ever, is to develop a toolbox of novel biomarkers and effective treatments against a range of targets in the brain so physicians can zero in on the causes of each patient’s Alzheimer’s and tailor combinations to meet their individual needs, creating a precision medicine approach to the disease.

“As we celebrate today’s news, decades of research and expertise allow us to clearly see the path forward to a world where Alzheimer’s is a treatable, and even curable, disease,” said Dr. Fillit.