Kawartha Centre has participated in Alzheimer’s Disease research for almost 20 years. We have dedicated ourselves to excellence. Due to public interest in the recent U.S. approval of Biogen’s ADUHELM™ as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, we felt it important to provide clarity on the situation in Canada and give further information on this and other Alzheimer’s Disease medications currently being researched.
Kawartha Centre participated in two of the three Biogen drug trials – the ENGAGE and EMBARK studies – that form the basis of the efficacy evidence for ADUHELM™. Our participation in the EMBARK study continues. The ENGAGE study was stopped in May 2019. Analysis of the data accumulated in these studies confirmed a small but significant improvement in the participants receiving the highest dose of ADUHELM™.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has granted accelerated approval for ADUHELM™ on the condition that Biogen conduct a follow-up study to confirm the benefit to patients. If this follow-up study fails to show effectiveness, the FDA may remove the drug from the market.
ADUHELM™ has not received Health Canada approval and so is not available for use in Canada. Health Canada is not expected to follow the FDA lead as they traditionally require more robust research evidence. This research continues at Kawartha Centre and other Canadian sites.
The cost and potential side-effects of ADUHELM™ have been raised as concerns. The cost-benefit analysis should be left to economists and governments to evaluate once efficacy is proven and cannot be a deterrent to proceeding with research in this very costly illness. When and if the drug is approved in Canada, a strong public voice detailing the immense and invisible personal cost of this illness may be needed to ensure appropriate funding.
The main side-effect noted in ADUHELM™ trials is changes detected on MRI brain scans. These changes are medically termed ARIA (amyloid-related imaging abnormalities) and are evident in all Alzheimer antibody drug trials. ARIA changes on an MRI provide visual proof that the medication is working to clear the amyloid proteins believed to be associated with Alzheimer’s Disease from the brain. In most cases ARIA are not associated with symptoms and the MRI changes are no longer evident within a short period of time.
The FDA decision has increased awareness in Canada about research opportunities for Alzheimer’s Disease treatments. The Kawartha Centre is currently seeking individuals to participate in clinical trials for similar antibody treatments and other novel medications to combat Alzheimer’s Disease.
People with memory concerns can contact us at:
The Kawartha Centre – Redefining Healthy Aging
705-749-3906 ext 211
Finding a cure
In 2010, 35.6 million people in the world were living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2030, that number is expected to double.
Today’s medicines treat the symptoms but not the cause of dementia.
It’s time for a change.
Why - the benefits
Research is the key to treating and ultimately curing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
That’s why the Kawartha Centre has become a leading clinical trial research site for Alzheimer’s disease.
Qualified individuals with memory concerns may be able to take part in research to help evaluate new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
“We’re very happy to contribute to medical science in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.”
Clinical trial participant
“The research we’re supporting today may help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease – and that might mean my children and grandchildren won’t have to worry.”
Clinical trial participant
Part of the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research, c5r.ca, the Kawartha Centre is a respected partner of national and international organizations committed to healthy aging and advances in treating age-related illness.