Breakthrough in Alzheimer Treatment: Leqembi Medication Approved in the USA

news 07-Jul-2023 Usa News

Breakthrough in Alzheimer's Treatment: Leqembi Medication Approved in the USA

Alzheimer Medication Leqembi Approved in the USA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for the Alzheimer medication Leqembi. A study has shown its effectiveness in slowing down the decline of memory and cognitive abilities in patients in the early stages of the disease.

The Alzheimer medication Leqembi has received full approval in the United States. It can be used in patients with dementia in the early stages and other symptoms caused by the neurodegenerative disease, according to the FDA.

Leqembi, based on the active ingredient Lecanemab, is considered the first medication that has been proven to slow down the progressive deterioration of cognitive abilities caused by Alzheimer's. Until now, only Alzheimer's symptoms such as restlessness could be treated with medication, but not the progression of the disease.

Medication Clears Protein Deposits in the Brain

In January of this year, the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, in collaboration with the US biotech company Biogen, received preliminary approval from the FDA for Leqembi. With the current full approval, health insurance companies in the US can cover the costs of the very expensive medication. The timing of when the active ingredient will also be approved in Germany and Europe is still uncertain.

The basis for the approval was initial study results showing that the medication effectively clears protein deposits in the brains of affected individuals associated with Alzheimer's. The FDA confirmed these findings by analyzing data from a larger study involving 1800 participants.

Scientists Warn of Side Effects

This study revealed that the medication slows down the decline of memory and cognitive abilities by approximately five months in those who received it. This effect was not observed in those who only received a placebo, a medication without the active ingredient. "This confirmatory study has demonstrated that it is a safe and effective treatment for patients with Alzheimer's disease," wrote Teresa Buracchio, the director responsible for neurological medications at the FDA.

Prior to approval, scientists had warned of potential severe side effects. In clinical trials, isolated cases of brain swelling and bleeding occurred. However, there were no reported deaths.

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