Potential Alzheimer’s drug fails clinical trial

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A drug that held hope for many Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones failed a late-stage clinical trial, proving negligible benefits over placebo, the New York Times reports. The drug, called Dimebon (latrepirdine), was being developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer together with a small new company, Medivation, but failed to meet “its co-primary or secondary efficacy endpoints compared to placebo,” according to an announcement made early this morning in a Pfizer press release.

The failure of Dimebon is particularly disappointing—for both patients and stockholders—due to what seemed promising early results. As the Times reports, while current treatments have been able to delay cognitive decline by about six months, Dimebon seemed to improve function for as long as 18 months. The drug, which originated as an antihistamine in Russia in the early 1980s, ultimately failed to show improvement over placebo in the trial including nearly 600 patients.

Read the full Times piece here.