Drug Discov Ther. 2021;15(3):166-168. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2021.01061)
Aducanumab: The first targeted Alzheimer's therapy
Yang P, Sun FS
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder associated with severe progressive dementia and is characterized by deposits of amyloid plaques in the brain. Over the past 20 years, the mortality of strokes and heart disease has decreased, but deaths from AD have increased. The four drugs used clinically to treat AD can only relieve symptoms but cannot slow the progression of the disease. Aducanumab, a human monoclonal antibody that preferentially binds to aggregated amyloid-β to reduce the number of amyloid plaques and slow disease progression, was approved to treat AD by the US Food and Drug Administration on June 7, 2021. It is the first disease-modifying therapy for AD, but there is considerable controversy regarding the drug's approval. Aducanumab offers hope for millions of patients.