By Ben Comer, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
Regardless of individual opinions or perspectives about what went wrong with Biogen’s Aduhelm (aducanumab), which was co-developed by Eisai beginning in 2017, the fact remains that patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are in urgent need of newer and better treatment options. Part of the difficulty in developing drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is caused by the time span of disease progression — 20 years or more — between initial changes in the brain and the onset of symptoms. With a few exceptions, such as the roughly 1% of cases resulting from a handful of genetic mutations, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, the underlying causes of AD are multifactorial, which is another challenge for drug development. A third important challenge, one that the organizations discussed below are working to solve, has to do with differences among patient groups with the same diagnoses, and a dearth of biomarkers for brain disorders.