A big hope for Alzheimer’s disease patients was announced as a game-changing treatment is expected to be available next year, first in the UK. The drug, Lecanemab, created by Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai and US biotech firm Biogen, has been shown to clear the brain of toxic amyloid protein and delay the onset of symptoms during trials, making it the world-first treatment to slow brain decline. The remedy is given as an injection. The immunotherapy drug was tested in a study of 1,795 patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in the US, Japan, Europe and China. The drug significantly slows memory decline.
Geneticist Professor Sir John Hardy at University College London said he was confident a new era of treatments begins. “I actually think this is a historic moment. It’s taken a long time to get here and we first suggested amyloid therapies in 1992.”But experts warned that at least in the UK only 5 per cent of patients would be able to gain access to Lecanemab unless there was a big increase in te number of NHS dementia clinics able to identify those who could benefit. Almost 1million Britons and 7million Americans have dementia. Full trial results for lecanemab are set to be presented at a dementia conference in San Francisco next week.