Alzheimer's Drug Shows Some Promise

Bapineuzumab could be a blockbuster if it passes final trials
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 6:10 PM CDT
Dolly Berger visits with her husband Andy, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, at the Lawyer's Glen Retirement Living Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A drug currently in experimental trials seems to be effective in battling Alzheimer's disease, the pharmaceutical companies developing it tell the Wall Street Journal. Bapineuzumab—developed by Elan and Wyeth—seems to be helpful in improving cognitive ability in those stricken by the disease, though much more so in patients who don't have a gene that increases risk of the brain disease.

With an estimated 40%-70% of suffers not possessing the Alzheimer's gene, analysts say bapineuzumab could become a blockbuster drug if it reaches market. "Many questions still have to be answered, and the devil will be in the details on issues such as specific dose response and the actual magnitude of the various results," one analyst said. The final stage of drug trial could take two years.