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New Alzheimer's Drug Slows Disease by a Third

The drug company Eli Lilly has reported that its drug, donanemab, slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease by about a third, according to the results of a clinical trial. Like lecanemab, another drug shown to slow Alzheimer's, donanemab is an antibody engineered to clear beta amyloid, a sticky substance that builds up in the brain and forms plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer's. The trial involved 1,734 people in the early stages of Alzheimer's, who were given monthly infusions of donanemab until the plaques disappeared. The drug slowed the disease's progress by an average of 29%, and by 35% in those believed to be more likely to respond. However, up to a third of patients suffered brain swelling as a side-effect, with two deaths attributed to it and a third volunteer dying after such a case. Despite this, experts have said the success of donanemab and lecanemab suggests a new era of Alzheimer's treatment may be dawning.

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