Sometimes, there’s an interview that we do that’s just a bit long for the regular podcast. So we’re going to start an occasional series of podcasts where we look a bit more in depth at a condition, and what’s the current state of affairs in treatment. In this podcast, the first, we take a closer look at Alzheimer’s disease with a conversation about current drugs, clinical trials, and the pipeline.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear later in life. According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 6 million Americans, most of them age 65 or older, may have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.
Alzheimer’s clinical trials: lecanemab brings hope
In late 2022, treatment of the condition hit the mainstream news when clinical trials of Eisai’s drug lecanemab showed a reduction in Alzheimer’s disease in the brain while slowing memory decline. In January 2023, the European Medicines Agency accepted a marketing authorization application for lecanemab, while in the U.S., it was granted accelerated approval as a treatment for AD by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Eisai serves as the lead of lecanemab development and regulatory submissions globally with both Eisai and Biogen co-commercializing and co-promoting the product and Eisai having final decision-making authority.
What’s new in the Alzheimer’s pipeline?
Sharon L. Rogers is CEO of the biotech AmyriAD Therapeutics. She was previously research chief at Eisai, where she played a leading role in developing Aricept, the top-selling Alzheimer’s medication on the market and the standard of care for more than 20 years.
Now AmyriAD is developing an oral small molecule ready for phase 3 – the effects of which would add to Aricept.
About our special Alzheimer’s podcast episode
In this wide-ranging podcast, Rogers covers her career studying Alzheimer’s, how the disease works, what her company is working on, lecanemab, and the future of Alzheimer’s research and treatments.