The drug was an antibody against amyloid – the protein that clumps together in the brain’s of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It failed to slow cognitive decline in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease. If it had been successful, it would have been the first new treatment for dementia since 2003, and the first to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Commenting on the announcement, Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “After positive news last summer we had high hopes for this drug to become the first to slow down Alzheimer’s disease. It’s extremely disappointing to learn that it hasn’t delivered a meaningful change for people living with dementia, when the need is clearly so great.
“Dementia is society’s biggest health challenge – and we’ve seen time and again that developing effective treatments is incredibly difficult. This is only one drug of several in the pipeline and they aim to tackle dementia in different ways, so we should not lose hope. Dementia can and will be beaten.
“Dementia is our leading cause of death, touching the lives of millions. There will be concern that investment in dementia research may drop as a result of another failure – neither families nor the NHS can afford for this to happen. We must and will redouble our efforts and investment into dementia research.”