A Medicinal Pioneer 💊

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A Medicinal Pioneer

Since studied and coined by Alois Alzheimer in 1906, Alzheimer’s disease has been a central topic for medicinal innovation across the world. Decades of research and testing unfortunately have led to a dearth of effective treatments until the beginning of this year. In January of 2023, biomedical companies Eisai and Biogen developed Leqembi, an antibody treatment targeting people suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms. Although not a cure, Leqembi has shown signs of slowing cognitive decline in early Alzheimer’s by 27%, a significant breakthrough in the field. Just last week on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration made the pivotal decision to fully approve Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi for consumers.

Now backed by the FDA, the new drug has begun receiving coverage from Medicare, a large steppingstone for mass distribution to seniors with early Alzheimer’s. As the bimonthly treatment currently costs $26,500 per year, Medicare coverage is essential to providing the soon-to-be sought-after drug to the six million Americans currently suffering from Alzheimer’s. As it just recently got approved, several analysts have cited drug sales will be slow due to logistical issues this year but starting mid-2024 the drug is expected to be readily available for patients who desire it. Despite the success, partner developer Biogen’s stock value fell upon the news, as investors hope to see impacts on their top-line figures from increased sales. Aside from Wall Street’s implications, it seems certain that milestones from Biogen’s Leqembi and newly developed drugs such as Eli Lilly’s Donanemab will pave the way for further treatment into the long-studied Alzheimer’s disease.

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