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Disappointing End

An Alzheimer's disease drug trial has had disappointing results, the New York Times reports.

The trial focused on an extended family in Colombia, as many members of that family have a genetic alteration that leads them to develop Alzheimer's disease in their mid-40s to mid-50s. According to the Times, 169 individuals harboring that mutation received either Genentech's crenezumab or placebo and an additional 83 individuals without the mutation received placebo as a means of obscuring the identities of individuals with the mutation.

However, Roche announced this week that this trial of crenezumab, an anti-amyloid monoclonal antibody drug, did not show that the drug had a statistically significant clinical benefit affecting either the rate of change in cognitive abilities or episodic memory function.

"We're disappointed that crenezumab did not show a significant clinical benefit," Eric Reiman from the Banner Alzheimer's Institute and team leader of the trial, said during a press briefing, according to the Times. "Our hearts go out to the families in Colombia and to everyone else who would benefit from an effective Alzheimer's prevention therapy as soon as possible. At the same time, we take heart in the knowledge that this study launched and continues to help shape a new era in Alzheimer's prevention research."