Aducanumab is currently in clinical development for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disease which is caused by loss of function and death of neurones in the brain. It is the most common type of dementia. One of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is mild cognitive impairment where a person may have difficulty with memory, reasoning, attention or visual depth perception. The difficulties are significant enough to be noticed by the patient and their family or friends but not enough to affect their ability to carry out everyday activities. Current treatment optionsfor Alzheimer’s disease are aimed at relieving the symptoms (including cognitive impairment) rather than stopping the progression of the disease.
Aducanumab is a highly selective human antibody that specifically targets the beta-amyloid (Abeta) protein which builds up in abnormal levels in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. High levels of Abeta result in the protein clumping together to form plaques which disrupt neurone function. Aducanumab is given through intravenous infusion and if licensed, would offer an additional treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease and the first to treat the underlying disease rather than the symptoms.