Alzheimer’s Association statement on negative Phase III trial results for latrepirdine (Dimebon)
"The Alzheimer's Association is disappointed to learn of the negative results from the Phase III clinical trial of latrepirdine (Dimebon)," said William Thies, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association chief medical and scientific officer. "People with Alzheimer's, their families and caregivers desperately need more and better treatment options for this devastating, fatal brain disease."
Nonetheless, the Alzheimer's Association remains optimistic about the future prospects for better Alzheimer treatments and prevention strategies. Several dozen other compounds are in the pipeline for Alzheimer's disease. We remain encouraged by the fact that drugs in the pipeline for Alzheimer's attack the disease from a variety of angles.
"The population is aging, and we need to make significant advances soon in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s. It is an overwhelming epidemic, already claiming millions of individuals, and it is on track to deplete our healthcare resources and devastate Medicare," Thies said. "The current level of federal research funding for Alzheimer's is unacceptable considering the many millions of people this disease affects and the huge financial impact on our economy and society. And, these numbers will grow exponentially with the aging of our population."
According to the Association, in order to get better diagnosis, treatments and prevention for Alzheimer's, we must address two important issues:
(1) We must address the chronic underinvestment in research to ultimately solve the Alzheimer crisis. We need to get more Alzheimer drugs in the pipeline. To do this, we must increase the research investment in Alzheimer's to levels similar to other leading causes of death, such as cancer and heart disease. Only then will we have the chance to see the same type of progress — such as declining death rates, and viable lifestyle-based prevention strategies — and stop this epidemic. If we do not invest now, the cost of Alzheimer's disease to taxpayers in Medicare and Medicaid costs will be $20 trillion dollars over the next 40 years — equal to 25 economic stimulus bills.
(2) In addition to increasing funding, it is imperative that people volunteer for Alzheimer clinical trials. Later this year, at the Alzheimer's Association 2010 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD), the Association is planning to launch a first of its kind tool to help match people with Alzheimer's and caregivers with Alzheimer clinical trials.
Next week, the Alzheimer's Association is bringing together advocates from across the country at the Alzheimer's Action Summit to encourage legislators to increase funding for Alzheimer's disease. Join us in Washington, D.C. or take action virtually at alz.org.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.