Friday 4 November 2016

Alzheimer's drug to reduce protein in the brain could be in pharmacies by 2020


Tests of the daily tablet, known as verubecestat, have been found to cut levels of the protein amyloid in the brain and spinal fluid of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid is a known marker of pre-clinical Alzheimer's and medics last night hailed the new drug as a potentially 'important weapon' in the arsenal of treatments being tested to address the deadly condition.

No new drug has been licenced in the UK to treat the as yet incurable condition in the last decade.

But if it passes further trials, verubecestat - produced by the American pharmaceutical giant Merck - could be licenced and on shelves in British pharmacies to help treat the condition by as soon as 2020.

With amyloid a known marker of pre-clinical Alzheimer's, provisional trials on animals and humans have excited scientists after showing reductions in the protein in the brain.

However, while seen as potentially important results, it is not yet known if the drug will also lead to a lowering of cognitive impairment in human patients.

Last night, experts at UK charities and research bodies welcomed the new findings.



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