June 17, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A June 15, 2020 BioSpace article announced that ACADIA Pharmaceuticals submitted a supplemental new drug application to the FDA for NUPLAZID® (pimavanserin), to treat hallucinations and delusions linked to dementia-related psychosis (DRP). Phase 3 results showed the drug significantly reduced the risk of relapse of psychosis. “This is an important step forward for the approximately 2.4 million people in the U.S. who suffer from dementia-related hallucinations and delusions, representing a large unmet need with currently no approved treatment options. Our pivotal HARMONY study showed a meaningful reduction of the symptoms and stabilization of psychosis and a nearly three-fold reduction in the risk of relapse of psychosis for patients continuing treatment on pimavanserin compared to placebo,” said ACADIA head Steve Davis.

A June 11, 2020 Fierce Pharma article took another look at Biogen’s aducanumab FDA filing. Experts are split about whether the data are “clinically meaningful” or not. According to the article, “Among 30 Alzheimer’s doctors who are “very familiar” with aducanumab's data—20 academic doctors and 10 community docs—most said the drug should not be approved, the analysts wrote. Even still, many of the doctors will prescribe the drug if it is, the firm's expert survey found. The survey results “pretty clearly” outline “why the ultimate regulatory fate of [aducanumab] stands to be controversial,” J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov wrote in a note to clients.”


According to a June 14, 2020 Science Alert article, a new study linked obsessive negative thought patterns with increased cognitive decline and amyloid beta, a major hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Although correlation doesn't equal causation, identifying 'repeat negative thinking,’ (RNT) which is considered a cognitive process, could help diagnosis in the future. "We found that higher levels of RNT were associated with more rapid decline in global cognition, immediate and delayed memory over a 48‐month period," wrote the research team. Also covered by Psych CentralMedical Xpress, and others.


A June 9, 2020 Being Patient Phil’s Journal piece by Phil Gutis chronicled his participation in Biogen’s latest aducanumab trial for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He agreed to take a spinal tap but had a negative reaction to the numbing injections. According to Gutis, “Nothing, however, will stop me from continuing to participate in the research that could help find a treatment or eventual cure for this disease. I will continue to happily offer my arms up for blood draws and infusions. I’ll spend as many hours as necessary in MRI tubes. Injecting radioactive material into my arm for a PET scan? Easy peasy. And if they really needed me to try a lumbar puncture again, I’ll try.”