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Elan, Wyeth report success in Alzheimer drug trial


MADISON, N.J. and DUBLIN, Ireland Elan and Wyeth have announced preliminary findings from a 18-month Phase 2 study of their drug bapineuzumab in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, and say the findings support plans to take the drug to the large-scale trials stage, according to published reports.

The 18-month trial saw statistically significant and clinically meaningful benefits for patients not carrying a gene known as "ApoE4," which apparently accounts for 40 percent to 70 percent of Alzheimer's sufferers.

According to Elan, for non-carriers of ApoE4, the study's preliminary results showed a smaller loss of brain volume among treated patients than for placebo patients. Loss of brain volume is associated with the onset of Alzheimer's.

The bapineuzumab treatment is an antibody designed to clear amyloid from the brain, which is seen as the most likely path to success for fighting Alzheimer's. Amyloids are protein deposits found in the brains of Alzheimer's victims.

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