At the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, held March 1-4, 2007, in New Orleans, Myriad genetics presented additional 24-month data from the completed follow-on study of a phase 2 trial of its experimental Alzheimer drug Flurizan. An R-enantiomer of flurbiprofen, the drug is thought to reduce levels of the Aβ42 peptide.
According to the company website, a significant fraction of study participants with mild AD who took 800 mg of Flurizan twice daily declined less than did patients on placebo. As measured by the MMSE test, 42 percent of patients on Flurizan remained stable or even improved compared to 14 percent of patients on placebo. On the ADAS-Cog set of tests and other test batteries, one in four patients on Flurizan stayed stable or improved slightly, while none of the patients on placebo did. If the two ongoing phase 3 trials replicate these data, Flurizan would appear to be able to not only slow a person’s decline but also halt progression of the disease, at least for a period of time. So far, this was true in some but not all people. Last year, the company reported that people who responded to Flurizan also had fewer psychiatric complications. Flurizan and Alzhemed, a Canadian drug in phase 3 trials for AD, are the anti-amyloid drugs that are the furthest advanced in clinical trials.—Gabrielle Strobel.