DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — For the first time, a new medication has made a breakthrough by appearing to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.
The drug is called Lecanemab. Dr. Douglas Scharre, Director of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at The Ohio State University, was part of the clinical trials for the drug. He said it has stabilized patients over the past year.
“This is an infusion study, so it’s an IV every month that they get as the treatment, so no pills involved. The side effects were much lower than the previous approved drug, aducanumab, that came out last year,” Dr. Scharre said.
“So, we have better side effects, reasonable efficacy, that is slowing of the progression. We have a lot of work to do, a lot more that’s coming down the pipeline for treatments affecting different parts of the disease. So, this is like the first great step that we have.”
Dr. Scharre said the drug only works for those in the early stages of the disease. It is now awaiting FDA approval, as well as a Medicare decision on whether to cover the hefty price tag of around $60,000 a year.
The Ohio State University is involved in more than 30 drug trials right now and are looking for patients willing to participate.