Alzheimer’s treatment is on the verge of a significant shift with the potential approval of two groundbreaking drugs, Lecanemab and Donanemab, in the UK. These medications, the first to slow Alzheimer’s progression, offer new hope to millions.

Groundbreaking developments

Lecanemab, produced by Eisai, and Donanemab, by Eli Lilly, target amyloid plaques in the brain. Recently approved in the US and Japan, these drugs represent a pivotal advancement in Alzheimer’s treatment. David Thomas of Alzheimer’s Research UK noted, “They suggest we are on the right road to tackling Alzheimer’s.”

Clinical insights and challenges

These drugs are effective only in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, emphasizing the need for early diagnosis. Lecanemab, costing about $25,000 annually, and Donanemab require regular intravenous infusions. While promising, these treatments pose logistical and financial challenges for broad adoption.

Early diagnosis is crucial

Accurate and early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. Current methods involve pen-and-paper tests, lumbar punctures, and brain scans, with long waiting times. One man waited over a decade for a definitive diagnosis, highlighting the need for more efficient diagnostic processes. Blood tests for quicker, less invasive diagnosis are under development, but widespread use is years away.

Innovative solutions

Researchers are exploring ways to enhance drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier. Dr. Cath Mummery from University College London stated, “We need to diagnose people at the very earliest stages of the disease.” New methods for transporting drugs across the blood-brain barrier are being developed, which could significantly impact future treatments.

Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, Founder and Chief Medical Advisor of Arctic Therapeutics, commented,

“The development of drugs like lecanemab and donanemab, combined with early diagnosis and effective delivery methods, aligns with our mission. Our drug, AT-001, is designed to work in synergy with these advancements, enhancing drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier and potentially improving patient outcomes.”

Conclusion

While the new drugs represent a significant breakthrough, comprehensive solutions encompassing early diagnosis, innovative treatments, and efficient drug delivery are essential. As research progresses, the combination of early detection, lifestyle changes, and advanced pharmaceuticals like AT-001 offers a promising path forward.

You can learn more about Arctic Therapeutics and our work on AT-001 here.

Read the original article on The Guardian.