Pacific Grove, CA : Alzheimer's Disease Treatment Hits A Setback : View From A Private Duty Caregiverby Richard Kuehn on 01/20/12
The treatment for Alzheimer's disease hit a major set-back recently when Pfizer Inc. and Medivation announced they were abandoning ship on a promising new experimental Alzheimer's drug called Dimbeon after it failed two tests in a phase 3 trial. Used in conjunction with Aricept, the drug showed promise in its first two trials, but just didn't pan out as the tests continued. The news is a major disappointment for Pfizer, which paid Medivation $225 million in 2008 for the development rights to Dimbeon. It also agreed to pay another $500 million if future milestones were met. The drug was previously a common cold medicine in Russia, and was used for the first clinical trial using an antihistamine to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. We're now at a critical juncture in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. "Alzheimer's can't wait and families won't forget," Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association said in Washington D.C. on January 18 at the second meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services. This Council is tasked with providing recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the development of the National Alzheimer's Plan, something which is supported by President Barack Obama. Alzheimer's disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in America and it is the only disease among the top ten which doesn't have a cure or even something which can slow its progression. The next in-person meeting of the Advisory Council is on April 17. You can read a copy of the current draft here and you can provide your comments to the draft here. If you would like to get more involved with lobbying efforts, please register with the Alzheimer's Association's Advocacy Forum here. Please get involved if you have the time or make a contribution to the Alzheimer's Association if you can afford to. As regular readers of my blog know, I formed a team which was the largest fundraising team for last year's Memory Walk in Monterey, an event which provides the Alzheimer's Association with a good chunk of their annual funding. I took care of my grandmother, who had the disease, until she passed away last January 22. After five years of looking after her, I know Aricept and the other drugs well which are used to treat Alzheimer's and dementia. Some do wonders, but none last for long, However, one is always hopeful that a new one will arrive before it's too late. Let's work together to find a cure and effective treatment for this horrible disease that robs you of your memories and your ties to loved ones.