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2 - Drug Development for Alzheimer’s Disease: An Historical Perspective

from Section 1 - Advancing Alzheimer’s Disease Therapies in a Collaborative Science Ecosystem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2022

Jeffrey Cummings
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jefferson Kinney
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Howard Fillit
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
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While Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains one of the very few common chronic diseases of aging and old age without any effective treatments to slow or prevent the illness, an historical perspective can provide the context for why this is true. The same historical perspective demonstrates that this lag is primarily a frame shift in time, rather than due to excess difficulties in developing drugs for the disease. Indeed, the historical perspective suggests that today, we are “right on time” for an explosion in new drugs for the disease after 40 years of rapid progress in basic and clinical research. The first drugs (cholinergic agents) for AD were approved after only about 15-20 years of research in the field, including the time needed for basic discovery, clinical development and regulatory approval.  Today, after 40 years of AD research, many disease-modifying drugs are in clinical development. Considering that cancer, diabetes and hypertension research began more than 80-100 years ago, the rapid progress in AD research can actually be viewed as impressive progress.

Alzheimer's Disease Drug Development
Research and Development Ecosystem
, pp. 25 - 33
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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