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  • Ryan Wittler

A Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug Has Been Approved


On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug aducanumab to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the first approval of a drug to treat the disease since 2003. Good and bad: The drug has proved to be highly effective at reducing the sticky brain plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. It hasn’t proven, however, whether it actually slows the progression of the disease when it reduces the plaques. In essence, the drug cleans up, but does it cure? That’s what the FDA is asking Biogen to answer in a clinical trial as a condition of the approval. If the study doesn’t show an improvement in slowing declines in memory and thinking, the agency may reverse its decision. Biogen’s stock was up as much as 60% on Monday, as the company’s CEO announced the drug will cost a “fair” $56,000 per year.

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