At the 8th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s conference held November 5-7 in Barcelona, 900 attendees traded results on trials from the closely watched Aβ antibodies aducanumab and gantenerumab to a long list of lesser-known therapeutic candidates. The most pressing issue discussed at this meeting was how to design trials to be able to see a drug effect in early AD, while the tools are still evolving. The field has learned much about the importance of rigorous dose-finding, exposure, and target engagement, but new frontiers have cropped up. How best to identify the right patient population, knowing how fast a given early-stage person is likely to progress, and measuring subtle improvement in barely impaired people have become the challenges of the day. To meet them, tools development is actively ongoing even as a larger clinical trials infrastructure is forming across both sides of the Atlantic.
Both antibodies might be working, experts say, but the latest data released at the CTAD conference remain tantalizingly unclear. Trialists urgently need progression predictors and better outcome measures.
The CTAD conference featured discussion among many scientists of how to measure a drug’s effect in pre-dementia patients who are so mildly impaired that established tools have trouble picking up improvement. Better cognitive tools are needed.
Several therapeutic approaches in Phase 3 reported updates at the CTAD conference earlier this month in Barcelona. Read about levetiracetam, deep brain stimulation, and scyllo-inositol.
At CTAD, a handful of candidate therapies were reported to have flamed out in Phase 2. They were unable to show efficacy. A new antipsychotic is entering the ring.
At CTAD, investigational Phase 1 drugs include a repackaged and a new anti-amyloid, a tau vaccine, and a repurposed cancer drug.
The leaders of two large European trials report that promoting cardiac health, exercise, and mental activity helped maintained cognition in older adults.