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Every Three Seconds

24th October 2019

Alzheimer's disease strikes cruelly, randomly and all too frequently. News of a potential breakthrough in its treatment could not be more welcome.


In the time it takes you to read this sentence, someone, somewhere in the world will be diagnosed with dementia. Every three seconds a new name is added to the existing list of fifty million people living with this condition, and Alzheimer’s disease is by far the most common form. Every three seconds another life is profoundly altered, another family and another circle of friends must face the cruel disruption of a loved one’s memory and personality. Without breakthroughs in treatment, it’s estimated that by 2050 the number of sufferers could triple to over 150 million.

Which makes a potential breakthrough something to celebrate.

This week Biogen announced that it will bring its anti-amyloid drug aducanumab to the FDA for approval. This marks a complete turnaround from the position earlier in 2019 when the drug failed a futility analysis. The change has been sparked by the review of an expanded set of results from the drug’s phase 3 EMERGE trial. This took into account three months of additional results for patients on high doses. The futility analysis had been made on patients who enrolled earlier in the process and were given lower amounts of the drug, but a protocol amendment enabled the increase and it made all the difference. Put simply, when Alzheimer’s sufferers were given a higher dosage of aducanumab over a longer period, it worked.

Conversis Project Managers Jessica Cucchiarini, Cassie Mill and Jack Garner supported these trials with translation and voiceover services on behalf of clinical research organisations and communication partners. They were delighted by the news. In Jessica’s own words:

“We all have to accept getting older and the changes it brings, but Alzheimer’s isn’t a natural part of ageing. It’s a cruel disease that strikes randomly and robs people of their personalities piece by piece. This breakthrough for Biogen is the result of an immense amount of hard work and ingenuity, and we're full of admiration for the people who’ve made it happen. We're also proud to work in an industry that plays a part in supporting these advances. Global medical problems need globally communicated solutions. Let’s keep working together to deliver them”

Every three seconds a life is blighted by this disease. People deserve better. They deserve to retain their memories and identities and carry on living their lives. Thanks to Biogen, we might be moving closer to that goal.


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