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Approval of Aducanumab for Treatment of Alzheimer Disease: Eric Reiman, MD

The executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute discussed the approval of aducanumab and the potential to address unmet needs and gaps in care for patients with Alzheimer disease.

“One of the benefits I am hoping we will see with aducanumab’s approval—and the growing access that we will have to blood-based biomarkers—will be the opportunities to reach out to wider groups of individuals and be able to provide information about those resources, while we’re awaiting those treatments that will even more dramatically slow down the [progression] and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.” 

The FDA’s approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm; Biogen) for treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) remains a controversial topic of conversation in the medical community. Eric Reiman, MD, executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, spoke with NeurologyLive about the approval, noting exciting aspects within the AD field and “animated discussions” in relation to impact for patients and associated costs. 

Reiman discussed the potential of Aβ plaque reduction, as well as the importance of ongoing trials and understanding how to address unmet needs in care. Specific attention was called to inadequate standards of care for patients with memory and thinking problems, a large percentage of whom do not receive an evaluation to rule out reversable problems or receive additional information about life after diagnosis. Reiman remains hopeful that while the community awaits results from additional trials, resources may be made available to those in need, opening access and understanding to a larger group of patients with AD.

Commentary from Reiman coincides with his recent presentation at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), July 26-30. Along with colleagues, Reiman presented safety data on the efficacy of pimavanserin (Nuplazid; Acadia) in treating dementia-related psychosis from the HARMONY trial (NCT03325556).

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

REFERENCE
Demos G, Foff EP, McEvoy B, Skoog B. Pimavanserin and concomitant antidementia medication use in patients with neurodegenerative and/or neurovascular disorders: safety outcomes from pooled clinical data and the HARMONY study. Presented at: AAIC 2021; Denver, Colorado; July 26-30. Poster 57661.