Dementia champion says new Alzheimer’s drug ‘promising’

DAME Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport and Dementia Research Champion, has welcomed the news that the pharmaceutical company Eisai has reported positive results from its successful phase 3 clinical trial of the Alzheimer’s drug, lecanemab.

This historic announcement offers new hope to Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families in the Gosport constituency and across the UK. In the trial, Lecanemab demonstrated a slowed decline in people’s memory and thinking function, reducing the impact and speed of this devastating disease.

While there are more steps to achieve regulatory approval, this is a significant step in the right direction toward introducing an effective treatment into the health system to combat Alzheimer’s.

And Dame Caroline said: “This announcement from Eisai is really promising, and I am very pleased to see that Lecanemab has shown positive results in slowing down memory decline of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

“As a Dementia Champion, former Minister for Care and someone whose family has been impacted by dementia, I know very well how  Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect both  individuals, and their loved ones. This can be devastating, and is without a cure. This is an historic day in our fight to treat Alzheimer’s and I look forward to seeing this drug advance into the next stage of achieving regulatory approval.”

She added, however: “Although this is fantastic news, more work needs to be done to understand the full applicability of the drug for treating various stages of the disease. I therefore encourage my constituents to sign up for dementia research studies to further understand the disease and the treatment.”

‘Historic moment for dementia research’

And Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This is a historic moment for dementia research, as this is the first phase 3 trial of an Alzheimer’s drug in a generation to successfully slow cognitive decline. These results show that Lecanemab slows the progression of memory and thinking problems in people with early Alzheimer’s, demonstrating a major breakthrough in dementia research.

“This is the first drug that’s been shown to not only remove the build-up of a protein called amyloid in the brain, but to have a small but statistically significant impact on cognitive decline in people with early-stage disease. The drug can also cause substantial side effects which will need to be considered. These top-line results, announced by the pharmaceutical company that make the drug, Eisai, offer new hope to people affected by this cruel and devastating disease.

“Today’s results were only possible because of the volunteers who took part in this trial, previous studies of this drug and wider dementia research across the world. Eisai is now recruiting people with a high risk of Alzheimer’s who have not yet developed symptoms to take part in further trials, to determine whether the drug slows the disease when given at an even earlier stage.

“People can register their interest to take part in studies like these by signing up to Join Dementia Research by calling 0300 111 5 111.”