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Preliminary But Maybe

New clinical trial designs and precision medicine may lead to new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, the Los Angeles Times reports. It describes two studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Associations International Conference of two experimental drugs.

In the first, researchers from companies in the US and Japan used an adaptive clinical trial design to test its BAN2401 therapy, which aims to reduce the accumulation of amyloid plaques, the LA Times says. With the adaptive approach, as patients were recruited, they were more likely to be placed in the study arm that was thought to have the best chances of success. Using this approach — which the LA Times notes is controversial, but is supported by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb — preliminary results suggest that patients treated with the highest amounts of BAN2401 exhibited the greatest decline in amyloid plaques.

Another study, meanwhile, tested the safety of Anavex 2-73. The researchers also sequenced the genomes of the study participants to find those with genetic variants that interfere with how Anavex 2-73 works and when those individuals were removed from the study cohort, those who remained appeared to have improved reasoning and memory skills after more than a year of treatment, the LA Times adds.