Dimebon Fails Phase III Trial

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

The best candidate for a new Alzheimer's treatment has taken a step backwards with the failure of Dimebon to show a benefit in the CONNECTION study. While it is not surprising for a drug to fail a trial, especially in the Alzheimer's space where the disease is poorly understood, there was a sense of optimism around Dimebon that I hadn't sensed in some of the other recent trials.

In this study, 598 adults with mild to moderate AD were given either Dimebon or a placebo for a six-month period and effect on cognitive function was evaluated. Unfortunately, the drug group did not out-perform the placebo group.

The drug sponsors (Pfizer and Medivation) are conducting other trials for Dimebon including one in later stage patients and another in conjunction with Aricept. There is some hope that the drug could be approved with narrower indications based on success in one of these other studies.

Nonetheless, this result was a disappointment and bodes poorly for the immediate future of AD treatment.

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