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Only one Alzheimer's medicine has been approved in over a decade, and a new study published in Alzheimer's Research & Therapy reveals that over 99 percent of drug trials for medication to alleviate the disease have failed.
Alzheimer's drug failure rate is much higher than for other diseases, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis. This provides a problem, because Alzheimer's is growing at a rapid rate, and is estimated to flourish even more as baby boomers age, reports Medical Daily. A study done by the Alzheimer's Association suggests that the number of Alzheimer's patients may rise from five million to over 16 million by 2050.
In cancer drug trials, the window of failure is roughly only 81 percent, while Alzheimer's medications have a 99.6 percent failure rate. In more recent years, clinical trials for treatments of Alzheimer's have declined because of the danger for the high failure rate.
Dr. Simon Ridley of the Alzheimer's Research in the United Kingdom expresses worry about the failure rate because of the notion that more and more people are suffering from dementia, a gateway to Alzheimer's, than ever before, reports News Channel Daily.
“There is a danger that the high failure rates of trials in the past will discourage pharmaceutical companies from investing in dementia research," she said in an interview with the BBC. "The only way we will successfully defeat dementia is to continue with high quality, innovative research, improve links with industry, and increase investment in clinical trials.”