There are twenty-seven Alzheimer’s drugs in late-stage clinical trials and eight candidates in Phase II programs that could launch in the next 5 years, according to an analysis presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
“The Alzheimer’s disease pipeline, marred by decades of failures and underinvestment, is due for big victories,” UsAgainstAlzheimer’s co-founder & chairman George Vradenburg said in prepared remarks. “Thanks to growing investment from industry leaders, we remain cautiously optimistic that the current crop of late-stage Alzheimer’s innovations will bring much-needed solutions to families in the near future.”
There are 23 drugs in Phase II and III trials that target amyloid protein buildup in the brain and 28 compounds that target neurotransmitter activity, the group reported.
These numbers represent momentum, according to the analysis – an 18% increase in Phase II drugs this year compared to last year and a 7% increase in Phase III compounds.
In 2017, Phase III trials are slated to wrap for six of the drugs described in the group’s presentation.
Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise, said a recent report from the CDC, and a new treatment for the debilitating neurological condition hasn’t won approval from the FDA since 2003.
“There is no silver bullet when it comes to treating Alzheimer’s,” David Morgan, a founding member of ResearchersAgainstAlzheimers, said. “The more we learn about the underlying Alzheimer’s pathology, the closer we get to a cure for a disease that is an enormous burden on patients, caregivers and global health systems.”
The group also voiced their concerns about patient access to these drugs once, or if, any of the products reach the market.
“Alzheimer’s is commonly misdiagnosed, and the United States suffers from a shortage of geriatricians – issues that will only grow as the Baby Boomer generation ages,” Vradenburg said. “Private- and public-sector leaders will need to work closely with insurers in the coming years to ensure patients have access to these drugs when they are available.”