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Alzheimer’s drug discovery foundation’s statement on FDA advisory committee’s endorsement of donanemab – Drugs.com MedNews

NEW YORK, June 10, 2024. Today, the FDA Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously voted that donanemab shows clinical benefit for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease. If approved, donanemab would become the second disease-modifying drug for Alzheimer’s to receive full approval, expanding the arsenal of available drugs needed to treat Alzheimer’s with combination therapy.

“Today’s vote offers hope that donanemab will be approved in the coming months, but it’s important to look at this milestone in the larger treatment landscape for Alzheimer’s, which will entail a combination therapy and precision medicine approach,” says Dr. Howard Fillit, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). “If approved, donanemab will expand the first class of disease-modifying drugs, serving as the building blocks for future generations of drugs. Anti-amyloids are not a silver bullet, but they offer opportunities for patients to modify the course of the disease while the field works towards developing more novel therapies that target the underlying biology.”

The donanemab trials demonstrate the field’s ability to conduct innovative and rigorous biomarker-powered trials that provide a definitive answer on a drug’s effectiveness. By using a “goldilocks strategy,” the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 trial used both amyloid and tau imaging to identify patients who were in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and most likely to benefit from treatment.

“It’s encouraging to see that some patients essentially enter remission, where they achieve full amyloid clearance with donanemab, with no resurgence in substantial plaque buildup for nearly four years,” notes Dr. Fillit. “These findings are a direct result of biomarker tests that can detect, quantify, and monitor plaque buildup in the brain. Biomarkers will continue to revolutionize clinical trial design as we move towards developing drugs that target novel pathways guided by the biology of aging.”

This milestone comes at a critical time when drug development is now largely driven by the biology of aging approach. In the current pipeline, nearly 75% of Alzheimer’s drugs in development are exploring novel targets related to the various aging pathways like inflammation, metabolic disturbances, and vascular dysfunctions. Some of the promising drugs are from ADDF-funded companies such as Coya Therapeutics, which is developing a combination therapy targeting neuroinflammation, as well as Therini Bio, which is developing a drug to target vascular dysfunction, and PharmatrophiX, which recently completed a phase 2a trial for a neuroprotective drug now ready for phase 2b trials.Diversity in the drug pipeline coupled with recent advances in biomarkers—notably the advent of accessible and scalable blood-based biomarkers—sets the stage for a new frontier in Alzheimer’s care where early detection, diagnosis, and intervention is feasible. Biomarkers will also be integral to the prevention of the disease by identifying patients in the preclinical phase before symptoms present and reducing Alzheimer’s risk based on their individual biomarker profiles.”Today’s advisory committee endorsement is a milestone achievement for the researchers, patients, families, and caregivers who have dedicated years to advancing new treatment options, but our work does not end here. We must continue fostering innovation and progress to move closer to the day where Alzheimer’s is treated on an individual basis with the help of precision medicine, ultimately halting the progression or preventing the onset of the disease altogether,” closes Dr. Fillit.

About The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
Founded in 1998 by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotech industry. The ADDF’s leadership and contributions to the field have played a pivotal role in bringing the first Alzheimer’s PET scan (Amyvid) and blood test (PrecivityAD) to market, as well as fueling the current robust and diverse drug pipeline. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded more than $290 million to fund over 750 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs, biomarker programs and clinical trials in 20 countries.

SOURCE Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

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