The director emeritus of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Cleveland Clinic and vice chair of the Department of Brain Health at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas discussed the role repurposed agents play in Alzheimer disease development.
“There’s always a lot to be learned even if that drug itself is never approved as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.”
A systematic review of Alzheimer disease (AD) agents within the clinical pipeline during 2020 revealed an alarming 57 trials, containing 52 repurposed agents across all phases. Among them 9 (16%) trials were by biopharma industry, 42 (74%) trials were hosted by academic medical centers, and 6 (11%) trials were by other entities.
The study, led by Jeffrey Cummings, MD, ScD, director emeritus of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Cleveland Clinic and vice chair of the Department of Brain Health at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, also showed a substantially greater amount of repurposed agents by academic medical centers in phase 2, compared to phase 3, which was heavily dominated by biopharma. Repurposed agents have promise to accelerate drug development because the results of non-clinical studies, dosing, safety, tolerability, formulation, manufacturing, and distribution are already known.
In an interview with NeurologyLive, Cummings shares his thoughts on the role repurposed agents have within the pipeline, and whether research has trended towards observing more of these agents compared to other therapies.
Cummings J, Lee G, Ritter A, Sabbagh M, Zhong K. Alzheimer’s disease drug development pipeline: 2020. Alzheimers Dement. Published online July 16, 2020. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12050