Wessex researchers and participants contribute to landmark Alzheimer’s trial
Researchers and participants in Wessex have contributed to a landmark clinical trial, which has identified a drug that could slow the decline in memory for people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Memory Assessment and Research Centre (MARC), part of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, was one of just five NHS sites recruiting to the Phase 3 trial.
Results from the trial, known as Clarity AD, show that a drug called Lecanemab may be able to slow the pace of disease progression in patients with early-stage Alzheimer's.
Developed by pharmaceutical companies Eisai and Biogen, the drug works by removing clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid which builds up in the brains of people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The results were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at an Alzheimer’s disease conference in San Francisco.
The trial included 1,795 people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s, who received a bi-weekly infusion of either Lecanemab or placebo.
In Wessex, the research team at MARC worked closely with colleagues at Lymington Hospital to deliver infusions to the participants who took part.
Dr Brady McFarlane, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist and Director of MARC, said:
“The study appears to convincingly show evidence of clearance of amyloid protein deposits from the brain in people with early Alzheimer’s disease, and some reduction in the rate of cognitive decline.
“We are incredibly grateful to our generous trial participants and hope that these results will promote greater interest in this hugely important research area and lead to hope for the development of better treatment and outcomes for patients with dementia.”