February 13, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A February 12, 2020 BioPharma-Reporter article reported on Biogen’s fourth quarter results call with investors, which covered aspects of launch preparation for aducanumab, assuming it gains FDA approval. CEO Michel Vounatsos focused in particular on availability to meet demand. According to the article, “…Robyn Karnauskas, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, asked if management could provide “any comfort” that the drug will not be “too harmful” to the company’s cost of goods sold and profit margin… “It’s obviously something we’ve been looking at for a while… we’re comfortable that given the nature of the substance that we’ll produce, it will be a fair margin and that it will do well economically,”” said Biogen CFO Jeffrey Capello.


A February 11, 2020 Texas Public Radio Texas Matters radio segmentdiscussed the research and development of “race-specific therapies” for  Alzheimer’s disease. The segment focused on Latinos, who are twice as likely as their white counterparts to develop AD. Guests included Sudha Seshadri, MD of UT Health San Antonio, Bess Frost, PhD of UT Health San Antonio, and Gladys Maestre, MD, PhD of the UTRGV Institute for Neurosciences.


A February 11, 2020 Being Patient article spotlighted a new blood test out of South Korea which can detect core biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in plasma with 88% accuracy. Biomarkers appearing in blood plasma correlate with brain changes. The goal is earlier detection and diagnosis to increase chances of delaying the disease. According to the article, “Steve Park, an investigator on the latest blood test that focuses on beta-amyloid and tau biomarkers, noted that the next steps would entail focusing on a population of people who have not yet developed Alzheimer’s symptoms. “This study was conducted on patients who are already confirmed with Alzheimer’s disease… For further use in practical setting, it is necessary to test the patients with mild cognitive impairment.”” Also covered by EurekAlert!


A February 13, 2020 BBC News article highlighted EDoN (Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases), an initiative led by Alzheimer's Research UK. AI will analyze data with the aim of designing a prototype wearable device for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The device will monitor gait, heart rate, sleep patterns and other data. "Developing digital fingerprints that can be detected using phone apps or wearable technologies like smart watches would provide a low-cost approach to identifying those most at risk of disease. Identifying the very earliest changes in these diseases would transform research efforts today, giving us the best chance of stopping these diseases before the symptoms of dementia start to get in the way of life,” said Carol Routledge of ARUK.