Opinion: It’s time to move past Aduhelm and focus on a broader Alzheimer’s drug pipeline

Alzheimer's research is moving beyond amyloid, with a wider breadth of targets and ability to stand up clinical trials that track and determine the relationship between biomarkers and clinical outcomes.

When Alzheimer’s disease was believed to be caused solely by the accumulation of amyloid protein in the brain, pinning all hopes on an amyloid-targeting drug like Aduhelm — the first drug approved to treat Alzheimer’s in 17 years — made sense. But newer knowledge that ties Alzheimer’s to the biology of aging indicates the disease is caused by a combination of age-related changes in the brain that affect different people in different ways.

That means neither Aduhelm nor any anti-amyloid drug on its own will be a cure for the estimated 6.2 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. The next phase of research must focus on promising drugs that target a host of underlying pathologies that contribute to Alzheimer’s.

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