rocky start for alzheimers research
Last Updated : GMT 19:07:01
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 19:07:01
Arab Today, arab today

in 2018

Rocky start for Alzheimer's research

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Rocky start for Alzheimer's research

Designer Guio Di Colombia in Inclusion fashion show in Colombia.
Paris - Arab Today

The year 2018, barely underway, has already dealt a series of disheartening blows to the quest for an Alzheimer's cure.

Within the first three weeks, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer abandoned the costly and frustrating field of dementia drug development, and two promising treatments stumbled in patient trials.

Alzheimer's support groups are putting on a brave face, but the collective disappointment is palpable as the global cost of caring for some 50 million dementia sufferers is set to reach $1 trillion (819 billion euros) this year.

"It's very fair to say that progress is slow," David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at Alzheimer's Research UK, a charity, told AFP.

"Companies have put a lot of time, effort and money in over the last 25 years, and there haven't been any new medicines launched in this area for 16 years now."

Experts say it takes 12–15 years, on average, and more than $2 billion to develop a single drug.

According to the Alzforum website, which gathers data on candidate drugs, fewer than 300 have made it to Phase II drug efficiency trials so far.

Only five have ever been approved to treat symptoms such as memory loss associated with Alzheimer's, first identified more than 100 years ago.

With a clinical trial failure rate of over 99 percent, there is still no licenced drug that slows the condition's progression, or cures it.

Today, about 100 candidate dementia drugs are enrolled in trials, compared to over 1,000 for cancer, according to Reynolds.

One reason is that "pharmaceutical companies ultimately are companies. They are beholden to their investors," he said.

"A return on investment is really: How much time and money do you put into getting a new medicine versus how much money can you make once you've actually got it? In this area, success has been very difficult to come by."

- Mysterious brain -

The stakes are high.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 10 million people per year are diagnosed with dementia, with Alzheimer's disease accounting for about two-thirds of cases.

By 2030, the number of sufferers is projected to reach 82 million globally, and by 2050 some 152 million.

The medical, patient-care, and economic costs are enormous.

A heavy burden falls on family members, the majority of care providers worldwide. Many have to give up their jobs.

Alzheimer's affects mainly older people -- about one in four over-85s is a sufferer. And numbers have soared as lifespans have lengthened thanks to medical advances in other fields.

With cardiovascular disease and cancer the biggest killers in the 1960s and '70s, that is where most of the research money went.

"In dementia, that investment wasn't there. So the amount of knowledge... about the disease is at a much, much earlier stage, and arguably the brain is a much more complicated organ" than the heart, said Reynolds.

To this day, scientists don't know exactly what causes Alzheimer's, leaving drug developers stumped.

On January 6, Pfizer announced an end to its "discovery and early development efforts" for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's dementia drugs.

Two days later, Danish company Lundbeck reported its idalopirdine compound did not "decrease cognitive loss" in patients, and on January 12, biotech firm Axovant announced the end of the road for its offering, intepirdine.

- Slow, but not backwards -

Experts say every failure of a drug reveals something new about Alzheimer's disease, which is thought to be associated with a buildup of protein "plaques", and "tangles" in the brain.

One important recent realisation was that an effective treatment may have to begin long before symptoms appear as protein build-up likely starts decades before disease sets in.

This, in itself, presents a research challenge.

"How do you find these patients?" when they are in middle age and symptom-free, explained French neurology professor Bruno Dubois. "How long do you treat them?"

Drugs in development today are targeting several tracks.

Some use antibodies to mop up proteins in circulation, or enzymes to inhibit their production.

Another experimental approach is vaccination: training the body to produce its own antibodies to attack disease-causing proteins.

"We are not moving backwards," insisted Reynolds.

Yet, he was "by no means certain" that a goal set by the G8 in 2013 to develop a cure or treatment for dementia by 2025 can be met.

"Even knowing the obstacles, we have never been as optimistic as we are today," added James Hendrix, a director at the US-based Alzheimer's Association, one of several non-profit research funders.

"We will not slow down in our fight against this terrible disease," he vowed.

"We are steadfastly committed to both advocating for further increased federal funding for Alzheimer's and dementia research, and increasing our own level of research funding to get us to where we ultimately need to be -- a world without Alzheimer's disease."

Source: AFP

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

rocky start for alzheimers research rocky start for alzheimers research

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

rocky start for alzheimers research rocky start for alzheimers research

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 02:46 2017 Saturday ,09 December

China, Russia seek closer military cooperation

GMT 14:56 2017 Tuesday ,18 July

Najwa Karam’s tweets were to greet army

GMT 00:49 2017 Friday ,22 December

Russia parliament ratifies deal

GMT 06:16 2017 Thursday ,14 December

Nukes, Russia ban leave Olympics

GMT 14:15 2017 Saturday ,09 December

Israel strike kills 2 Palestinians

GMT 02:52 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

President Al-Bashir Retuns from Chad

GMT 11:03 2017 Tuesday ,01 August

Aswan to celebrate discovery of Abu Simbel Temple

GMT 17:56 2014 Friday ,10 January

Bottega Veneta hired photographer Pieter Hugo

GMT 20:05 2017 Monday ,25 September

DAE appoints Jeff Wilkinson as Joramco’s CEO

GMT 20:44 2015 Thursday ,08 January

SPA camera monitors al-Namas mountains

GMT 07:57 2017 Friday ,28 April

Rogina happy for participating in Two shows

GMT 14:15 2017 Friday ,31 March

Dalia Mustafa says she is a good housewife

GMT 07:10 2017 Sunday ,12 November

look no further than the Belmond

GMT 08:32 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Actress Nelly Karim reveals her Ramadan’s work

GMT 11:23 2017 Saturday ,19 August

Brief tourism impact from Spain attacks
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday