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26 July 2021: Editorial

Editorial: Targets for Disease-Modifying Therapies in Alzheimer’s Disease, Including Amyloid β and Tau Protein

Dinah V. Parums *

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.934077

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e934077

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Current treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease aim to improve behavioral, cognitive, and non-cognitive symptoms. There have been no new drug approvals for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease for more than two decades. Drug development in Alzheimer’s disease aims to identify disease-modifying therapies that will delay or slow the clinical course of this disease. More than 50% of the current Alzheimer’s disease drug pipeline now involves immunotherapies or oral small molecule agents. The most promising disease-modifying drug targets are amyloid β and tau protein. In June 2021, aducanumab, a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody to amyloid β, was the first potential disease-modifying therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Accelerated approval of aducanumab was based on the results of only one of two phase 3 clinical trials. Several clinical trials of targeted disease-modifying immunotherapies to the tau protein and amyloid β that commenced before the current COVID-19 pandemic have been delayed. This Editorial aims to provide an update on past, present, and future disease-modifying therapies in Alzheimer’s disease, including targeted therapies for amyloid β and tau protein.

Keywords: Editorial, Alzheimer Disease, Amyloid beta-Peptides, tau Proteins, Immunotherapy, Clinical Trial

Conclusions

In the past decade, there has been an increased understanding of potential targets for disease-modifying therapies that will delay or slow the clinical course of Alzheimer’s disease, in addition to amyloid β and tau protein. Despite the controversy associated with the recent accelerated approval of aducanumab and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the progress of clinical trials, the range of potential disease-modifying therapies in Alzheimer’s disease may lead to future further approvals.

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750