Nine Alzheimer’s sufferers have died after being treated with high doses of an experimental drug therapy prompting the pharmaceutical companies involved to end high dosage trials of the drug.
Dublin-based Elan and Transition Therapeutics of Toronto took the decision to eliminate trials of two of three doses of the treatment, labelled ELND005, following the deaths, but confirmed that trials of lower 250 milligram doses would continue along with placebo groups.
The fatalities were among patients who were administered 1,000 milligram and 2,000 milligram doses of the oral treatment twice a day for treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Transition Therapeutics chief financial officer Elie Farah said the trial ends in April, and the companies will decide whether to move into late-stage testing after looking at results.
Although a direct relationship between the drug and the deaths in the higher dose groups has not been established, the companies decided to withdraw the trials and continue only with lower dosage groups.
Copyright Press Association 2009