Rhode Island played a role in research for newly FDA approved drug treatment for Alzheimer’s

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – The FDA has approved a new experimental drug to treat Alzheimer’s Disease and little Rhode Island played a role in the approval process.

The medication is called Aducanumab and is created by Massachusetts based Biogen. It’s for mild cognitive impairment associated with the early stages of the brain wasting disease.

We’re told Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center was used as a study site for the drug trial.

“This is a brand new follow up treatment for Alzheimer’s disease ideal for early stage and it will change the course of disease,” Dr. Chuang-Kuo Wu, Director of RI Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center said.  “This has been a long awaited treatment. We’ve been working on this particular treatment for more than 20 years so this is a major breakthrough to provide treatment to patients.”

It will take several months for the drug to become available for most patients.

The decision comes seven months after all ten members of the peripheral and central nervous system drugs advisory committee voted there is not enough evidence to show the drug is effective.

Some non-profits also didn’t think the medication should be approved even though the Alzheimer’s Association supported it.

Some stakeholders have also voiced concern the drug may be too expensive.

It has been nearly 20 years since the agency has approved a new medication to treat the disease.

 

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