Roche bullish on Alzheimer drug
ROCHE HOLDING believes it has moved into pole position in the race to develop an Alzheimer’s drug that can change the course of the disease after its rivals suffered setbacks in the past month.
The Swiss drugmaker has more than doubled the size of a clinical trial – to 770 patients from 360 – of experimental drug gantenerumab in patients who have yet to develop dementia, putting it in the vanguard of attempts to catch the disease in its early stages.
“Gantenerumab is now the most advanced monoclonal antibody in early Alzheimer’s and the next big news to read out in this space,” said Luca Santarelli, Roche’s head of neuroscience.
A successful Alzheimer’s treatment could reap multiple billions in annual sales. However many experts believe treatment would have to be delivered before patients show signs of dementia because brain damage may be irreversible after that point.
Results from the study in early Alzheimer’s patients who do not yet have dementia are expected in 2015. Previous brain scan tests have shown that gantenerumab can reduce amyloid plaques in the brain more rapidly than other drugs. – (Reuters)