New Alzheimer’s Drug Gantenerumab Promises Treatment

Gantenerumab, a new drug developed by Roche Holding AG, promises treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the study published in the Archives of Neurology on October 10, 2011.

Researchers suspect the build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease. The new Alzheimer’s drug may help lower levels of such plaque. It is said that Gantenerumab binds itself to amyloid plaques in the brain and remove them. It is being targeted at the early stages of Alzheimer’s with the hope that it can slow progression of the disease.

The Phase I study of 16 Alzheimer’s patients tested Gantenerumabat two doses against a placebo over six months of treatment. The new Alzheimer’s drug led to a dose-dependent reduction of brain amyloid, while amyloid load increased in patients receiving a placebo, Roche Holding AG stated.

“These results and especially the rapidity of the effects observed on amyloid removal are very encouraging and pave the way for the development of a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease,” Luca Santarelli, head of Roche’s global neuroscience disease division, said in a statement.

While the new Alzheimer’s drug promises treatment, experts caution more research is needed before this drug can be deemed safe or effective.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia affecting 25 million people worldwide. Symptoms of the disease include serious memory loss, confusion and mood changes develop gradually and worsen with time. Recently, many strides have been made in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease earlier, but doctors have been stymied by a lack of effective treatments to stop or slow the course of the disease.

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