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Donanemab leads to modest slowing of Alzheimer’s progression, study finds

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 18 July 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p1659
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The Alzheimer’s disease treatment donanemab leads to a modest slowdown in cognitive decline in the early stages of the condition, a study in JAMA has reported.1

The drug, manufactured by Eli Lilly, is an antibody treatment designed to clear brain amyloid plaque and is taken as a monthly infusion for 18 months. The company is currently applying for drug approval in the US, and other country applications are expected to follow.

The researchers recruited 1736 participants with early, symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease and amyloid and τ pathology, of whom 1320 (76%) completed the trial. Overall, people treated with donanemab experienced an average 10 point decline in the 144 point scale used to measure worsening symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, while those taking a placebo experienced a 13 point decline.

In terms of clinical effects, treatment with donanemab delayed progression of Alzheimer’s disease by about four months, an outcome described by editorialists as “comparatively weak.”2

While …

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