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New Research Will Target Early Stage Alzheimer’s

β-amyloid fibrils.

β-amyloid fibrils. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“If someone comes into the ER with a heart attack and you give them a (cholesterol-lowering) statin drug for the first time, you are probably 15 years too late,” said Dr. Michael Rafii, an Alzheimer’s expert at the University of California at San Diego.

This is the logic behind Johnson and Johnson’s recent partnership with a company in Japan who has already developed a class of drugs (beta secretase inhibitors- BACE) that aims to prevent the production of beta amyloid.  Drug development in the past focused on reducing the amount of beta amyloid after it had already clumped in the brain and caused Alzheimer’s symptoms.  The “pivot” in research will target early stage Alzheimer’s.

Lilly and Merck already have midstage trials under way for their BACE inhibitors, having made the “pivot” years ago.

It would be nice if all the drug companies would share their information, and work together to find an answer to Alzheimer’s.

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