Tamil Nadu

“Aducanumab approval controversial, but can open up more possibilities”

The new drug Aducanumab for Alzheimer’s can open up new possibilities and further innovations in the treatment of the disease although its approval has led to controversies, said Christopher Chen, Professor, National University of Singapore and president, Asian Society of Dementia.

In an online interaction with Ennapadam S. Krishnamoorthy, behavioural neurologist and neuropsychiatrist and founder of Buddhi Clinic on Sunday, he said that although the expensive Aducanumab would not be affordable for most patients, it was a new paradigm in the treatment of the disease if it proved to be useful as it could reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s.

The US FDA’s approval for Aducanumab developed by Biogen Inc and to be sold under the brand name Aduhelm has attracted criticism from many for using the unconventional “accelerated approval pathway” despite the recommendation of members of an advisory panel to reject the drug as the evidence provided by clinical trials were inadequate.

The experimental drug, which is likely to cost 56,000 USD a year for treatment, targets and tries to eliminate the amyloid plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. These amyloid plaques are believed to drive the signs and symptoms of the disease.

The drug has been approved only in the US so far. Dr. Chen said that though there was lack of clarity on the dosage and on when it would be most beneficial, the drug was likely to prove effective when used during the early onset of the disease based on diagnosis through bio markers.

Echoing his thoughts, Dr. Krishnamoorthy said, “There are many many examples in medicine where people have taken a leap of faith and FDA has approved that leap of faith.” He said that it appeared as if with the new drug, the medical fraternity can move from just being able to comfort the patients of Alzheimer’s to in fact controlling the disease.

Acknowledging that there can be side effects of the drug, Dr. Chen said that even treatment for cancer had side effects. He said that perhaps the focus must be to see if the patient’s life can be made better overall. He highlighted the burden of the disease by pointing out that there were 50 million people with the disease and it was expected to triple by 2052.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 5:40:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aducanumab-approval-controversial-but-can-open-up-more-possibilities/article34807837.ece

Next Story