The State of the Alzheimer Disease Pipeline: Eric Reiman, MD


The executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute commented on ongoing research into amyloid plaque-reducing antibody therapies, the approval of aducanumab, and other initiatives with the ability to impact the treatment of Alzheimer disease.

“Each of these areas, treatments that target different elements of tau pathology, inflammation, APOE4—they all are associated with both with opportunities and some formidable challenges, and the extent to which we address those challenges will determine how well that [will] serve the field in the next few years.”

The controversial FDA approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm; Biogen/Eisai) in the Alzheimer disease (AD) field has generated conversations about the state of the pipeline for different AD treatment options. Eric Reiman, MD, executive director, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, commented on the ongoing clinical trials for antiamyloid beta (Aß) therapies, which include agents such as aducanumab, lecanemab, donanemab, and gantenerumab. 

Additionally, Reiman spoke to additional trials that may provide lower risk antiamyloid treatments, as well as his estimation that the field may see results of gene-silencing treatments, particularly targeting tau, over the course of the next few years. The field is beginning to see “a more diversified portfolio,” Reiman told NeurologyLive, with different drugs and treatments targeting different elements of the disease.

Reiman recently attended the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association Annual Conference (AAIC), held from July 26-30, where he and colleagues presented safety data on the efficacy of pimavanserin (Nuplazid; Acadia) for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Data concluded that patients with neurodegenerative diseases and/or neurovascular disorders receiving pimavanserin in clinical trials often also received concomitant antidementia medication, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or memantine. The investigators also found that the combination was safe and tolerable.

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

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.
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