Alzheimer’s Drug Awarded Fast-Track Status

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerOctober 3, 2016

A new Alzheimer’s drug has been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug is being codeveloped by two pharmaceutical companies, partnering to fight the high failure rate of previous Alzheimer’s drugs.

Learn more about why this drug has been fast-tracked and why researchers are hopeful that this drug could hold the key for an Alzheimer’s cure.

Pharmaceutical Companies Partner to Develop Alzheimer’s Drug

Over 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. There is currently no cure or treatment plan for the disease. As the epidemic rages, pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca PLC and Eli Lilly & Co. are working together to codevelop a drug labeled AZD3293 that may prevent the formation of beta-amyloid in the brain.

The drug is part of a new class of drugs, called BACE inhibitors, which aim to stop the production of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid plaques are toxic proteins that are found in the brains of people living with Alzheimer’s and are widely considered to be the main cause of the disease.

To be awarded fast-track status means that the FDA believes the drug “could fulfill an unmet need in a serious condition.”

It also means that the pharmaceutical companies involved will have increased access to the FDA while the drug is being developed and tested, reducing the time it would take for the drug to reach the market, if successful.

There is still an uphill battle for AZD3293. Historically, there has been a high level of failure for Alzheimer’s drugs, with 123 Alzheimer’s drug failures between 1998-2014 and only four medicines approved during that time. Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca hope to move the drug to final stage of testing in patients who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Would you consider being in a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of an Alzheimer’s drug like AZD3293? Share why or why not with us in the comments below. 

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