Victorian's to access Alzheimer's test drug

A Victorian patient with Alzheimer's disease has become the first in the world to be given a new drug that experts hope will revolutionise treatment for the most common form of dementia.

 

Alfred Health was selected by the overseas drug company to lead the first trial on patients with the disease, giving Victorians exclusive access to a cutting edge drug, Anavex 2-73.

 

Unlike current medications, Anavex is the only drug designed to both relieve sufferers’ symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

 

Director of Aged Psychiatry at Caulfield Hospital and study lead, Associate Professor Steve Macfarlane said the global race to find better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease means the phase 2 trial will be fast tracked.

 

Results will be known within a year and, if successful, the drug could later be available to thousands of patients as part of a larger clinical trial.

 

“Existing drug treatments for Alzheimer’s solely improve a patient’s symptoms, but don’t halt or cure the disease, which is why the most recent trials are focusing on being able to modify the disease to slow or stop its progression,” A/Prof Macfarlane said.

 

“Ultimately, we are hoping to find treatments that can prevent, halt or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s,” A/Prof Macfarlane said.

 

Caulfield hospital is recruiting patients. To be eligible for the study, patients should have early-stage Alzheimer’s and be on the cognitive enhancer, Aricept. Outcomes will be measured through computerised cognitive tests and EEG.

 

Background

The Caulfield Hospital Aged Psychiatry Research team have over 30 years’ experience in clinical trials. Dedicated to clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease, the team are internationally recognised for their distinct expertise and experience.

 

The team is involved in several global studies, which give Australian patients new access to treatments which would be otherwise unavailable.

 

29 January 2015.