Experimental Alzheimer's drug fails to deliver in closely watched clinical trial
Alzheimer's researchers met with disappointment Monday when officials from Pfizer announced that the experimental drug bapineuzumab failed to improve dementia symptoms in a Phase 3 trial.
Lead investigator Reisa Sperling, M.D., told the New York Times that the experimental drug showed “no evidence at all of a clinical benefit of treatment on either of the primary measures, one cognitive and one functional,” compared to placebo. Three drug makers were jointly developing bapineuzumab: Pfizer, Elan and Johnson & Johnson
Scientists told the paper that bapineuzumab's failure, in addition to other recent drug failures, has raised doubts about whether beta- amyloid plaques — proteins in the brain that have been targeted by drug developers — are implicated in the progressive disease.
Earlier trials suggested that bapineuzumab is more successful in Alzheimer's patients a specific gene, called ApoE4, which raises the risk a person will get Alzheimer's disease and can make the disease worse. Trial results testing bapineuzumab in this population will conclude within the next couple months, according to the paper.