Failed trials shift future of Alzheimer's treatments

Drugs exclusively focused on treating plaque buildup in the brain aren't the answer for Alzheimer's patients, forcing drugmakers to reroute their research, NBC News reported Aug. 2. 

Recent research developments indicate a plethora of factors affect the disease — not just amyloid plaque buildup. 

"It doesn't seem that there's one single superstar mechanism that is the magic solution," Vijay Ramanan, MD, PhD, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., told NBC News

T3D Therapeutics, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., is currently testing its Alzheimer's oral drug, which isn't focused on amyloid plaque, in a phase 2 study. The company's CEO, John Didsbury, PhD, told NBC News the treatment is more than a year away from a phase 3 trial. 

As pharmaceutical companies are years away from gaining approval for new Alzheimer's treatments, Roche's drug that targets amyloid proteins failed to prove efficacy in a phase 3 trial in June. The drugmaker's news is only following a trend of amyloid-focused drugs flopping in trials, according to experts. 

Donna Wilcock, PhD, the assistant dean of biomedicine at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, told NBC News, "The drug trials keep coming through and for the most part, failing."

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