Alzheimer’s Drug Trials Keep Failing—and That’s Amazing

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

The morning before Thanksgiving 2017, neurologist Reisa Sperling was waiting for news. Sperling, an Alzheimer’s researcher and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, had been waiting to hear about the results of an Alzheimer’s trial called Expedition 3, which was gave more than 2,000 people either a placebo or an infusion of the drug solanezumab, meant to slow cognitive decline.

Sperling cared not only because she’s a leading researcher in the field but because her own study, A4, would be testing the same drug—but in a different population. While Expedition 3 required subjects to have amyloid build up in their brains, A4’s trial was on asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people 65 and older who have biomarker evidence of brain amyloid deposition.

The Expedition 3 results, which showed some efficacy but not enough, being ruled a negative by the study’s authors were devastating, Sperling told The Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.


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