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New drug hope for Alzheimers. Drug by Lilly may slow progression of disease and could get FDA approval soon

Advisory panel says Donanemab has strong positive benefit risk analysis meaning its benefit is greater than its risk
Posted at 8:29 AM, Jun 19, 2024

(Below is verbatim of story that aired)

June is Alzheimer's and traumatic brain injury awareness month and there’s some positive news from big Pharma.

I’m senior reporter Roland Beres, it’s Wellness Wednesday where we’re healthier together and today we’re talking about a new drug to slow the progression of the disease that got preliminary approval. What it means for patients and why the fight must go on.

The new drug from Ely Lilly - Donanemab - recently got approval from an FDA advisory panel.

The FDA itself could approve the drug this year.

“Think of ten years ago, we didn’t have anything from the FDA and now we are and those are the things that provide a lot of hope around the work we’re doing,” said Alix Neva, Executive Director for the Alzheimer's Association - Greater Idaho Chapter.

The drug was tested over two years and showed a 35 percent reduction in advancement of the disease.

“These are not for people who occasionally forget their car keys once every few months. These are for people who have objective evidence of clear-cut cognitive impairment,” said Dr. David Knopman - clinical neurologist at the Mayo Clinic.

Unfortunately, the drug does not reverse brain damage and is only useful to Alzheimer's patients in the early stages.

So, Neva says it’s important to talk to your doctor.

“They’ll go through it with you sometimes annually to see how it’s progressed and so it’s something you have to do with your doctor together,” said Neva.

Last year the Alzheimer’s association raised 100 million dollars through 600 walks across the nation.

Neva says new promising drugs can offer more time with loved ones and advancement of those drugs depends on people like you who participate in the walks.

“It is a great way to raise awareness to be a part of this organization and bring hope to one day living in a world free of Alzheimer's,” said Neva.

The Walk to End Alzheimer's in the Treasure Valley is September 28.