NPR

After A Big Failure, Scientists And Patients Hunt For A New Type Of Alzheimer's Drug

Now that so many experimental drugs targeting amyloid-beta have bombed, scientists are looking for different approaches for treating Alzheimer's, including a drug that failed as a cancer treatment.
Phil Gutis with his dog, Abe, who died last year. Gutis, who has Alzheimer's, hoped an experimental drug could help preserve his memories. Source: Courtesy of Timothy Weaver

Scientists are setting a new course in their quest to treat Alzheimer's disease.

The shift comes out of necessity. A series of expensive failures with experimental drugs aimed at a toxic protein called amyloid-beta have led to a change in approach.

The most recent disappointment came in March, when drugmaker Biogen and its partner Eisai announced they were halting two large clinical trials of an amyloid drug called aducanumab.

"It was like being punched in the stomach," says Phil Gutis, 57, an Alzheimer's patient in one of the

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