Gammagard, a medicine made by , retarded the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for up to three years in a trial of 16 patients, according to a report on Bloomberg News.
Baxter funded the study even though it does not have a patent on the drug, which has been in use for 30 years to fight immune system disorders. A larger study testing 390 persons will be completed this year with the results announced in 2013, according to the report.
William Thies, the chief medical and scientific officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, called the results “tantalizing.” Norman Relkin, the lead researcher and director of the Memory Disorder Program at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, was equally pleased.
“It’s extraordinarily unusual,” Relkin said in an interview reported by Bloomberg. “In my practice, which I think is reflective of most Alzheimer’s specialists in the world, if we see a patient go more than 18 months without changing their scores, we question whether they actually have Alzheimer’s disease.”