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FDA approves new drug for early treatment of Alzheimer's

Pharmaceutical is "important advancement" in fight against debilitating disease.

Published: January 6, 2023 2:29pm

Updated: January 6, 2023 2:36pm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease, with testing reportedly showing considerable success in helping patients with the debilitating condition. 

The FDA said in a press release that it had approved the drug Leqembi for Alzheimer's patients. The drug is "the second of a new category of medications approved for Alzheimer’s disease that target the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease," the agency said. 

"This treatment option is the latest therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s, instead of only treating the symptoms of the disease," Billy Dunn, the director of the Office of Neuroscience in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the release. 

Testing of the drug reportedly showed it having "a statistically significant reduction in brain amyloid plaque," one of the chief signs of Alzheimer's progression. 

The approval was granted to Eisai R&D Management Co, the FDA said. 

More than six million Americans reportedly suffer from Alzheimer's. The disease was first clearly identified in the early 20th century, though it has likely affected humans for much longer. 

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