Amgen, Novartis May Screen 30,000 Patients To Find 2,000 For Alzheimer's Trial
A new trial for CNP520 will see if the Amgen/Novartis BACE1 inhibitor can prevent, stop or slow Alzheimer's disease progression in pre-symptomatic patients, but recruiting enough patients with the APOE4 gene will require a massive screening effort.
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J&J's Janssen unit is ending development of atabecestat after serious elevations of liver enzymes were seen in some patients who received the drug, increasing doubts about the BACE inhibitor mechanism as an appropriate target.
Biomarkers will be key to winning the race to a successful AD drug. Even then, drugmakers must build the infrastructure for getting therapy to the right patients at the right time.
Mass screening of asymptomatic people is an expensive, daunting proposition, but very preliminary research with an amyloid beta blood test is spurring hope that a more practical way to identify those at risk will emerge in the future.