Emerging treatments could reduce Alzheimer’s burden

People between the ages of 55 to 80 who meet trial criteria are being enrolled for a study involving lecanemab treatment.

Media Contact: Susan Gregg, sghanson@uw.edu, 206-390-3226

A new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease approved by the Food and Drug Administration this month is just the start, says UW Medicine behavioral neurologist Dr. Michael Rosenbloom. Two other drugs were also found to have a favorable influence in the Clarity AD study, which served as a basis for the FDA’s approval of lecanemab (marketed as Leqembi). 

Lecanemab slowed participants' cognitive and functional decline by 27% over the course of 18 months during Clarity AD trials, Rosenbloom said, adding that the drug's longer-term effectiveness is not well understood. 

Donanemab, a drug that has similar mechanisms of action to lecanemab, was also found to slow cognitive and functional decline in the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 study published this spring.

“When you see multiple drugs of the same class meeting the primary outcome measures, this shows that this is not a fluke. We have a real disease-modifying agent that is beneficial for patients,” said Rosenbloom, the director of clinical trials at UW Medicine's Memory & Brain Wellness Center. “When I became a behavioral neurologist over 13 years ago, the idea of having a disease-modifying drug sounded like science fiction.” 

The AHEAD study will further measure and monitor the influence of lecanemab. Researchers are enrolling participants ages 55 to 80 who are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. UW Medicine is one of nearly 75 locations enrolling for the study across the United States and Canada.

Rosenbloom says lecanemab could become available to UW Medicine patients over the next several months.  

Download broadcast-ready soundbites on emerging treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Related links: 

UW Medicine