Potential New Alzheimer’s Drug Passes Phase 2 Trials

American Academy of Neurology Conference: Safety and efficacy of ORM-12741 on cognitive and behavioural symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, multicenter, proof-of-concept 12-week study.

Researchers have found a potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s, ORM-12741, may improve some memory problems when used in combination with existing treatments. The results of a phase 2 trial of the drug are to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in March 2013.

The study involved 100 people with moderate stage Alzheimer’s disease, who received a twice daily dose of either 30-60mg or 100-200mg of either ORM-12741 or a placebo. The treatment was continued for 12 weeks alongside cholinesterase inhibitors – existing approved drugs that work to help with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Some of the participants were also prescribed memantine, which is also designed to help with some of the disease’s symptoms.

BRAIN

The participants were given a series of tests to assess their memory and thinking skills at the beginning and the end of the study. The results showed those who were taking ORM-12741 alongside their usual medication improved their scores on memory tests by 4%, while those taking the placebo had worsened by 33%.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“This clinical trial has reported some early, mixed results and it’s important to note that this was a very small study that has yet to be published in full. This trial did not test how effective ORM-12741 was when used alone, and it remains to be seen how long its effects might last. We now need to see large-scale, long-term clinical trials to fully explore this treatment’s potential benefits for people with Alzheimer’s.

“A drug that could provide more effective relief from the symptoms of Alzheimer’s could have a real impact on people’s lives, but we still lack a treatment that can tackle the underlying disease process. With half a million people living with Alzheimer’s in the UK, and that number rising, research to find ways of stopping the disease in its tracks must continue.”

This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

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