The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Alzheimer's drug lecanemab developed by Eisai Co Ltd and Biogen Inc for patients in the earliest stages. Eisai had applied for full FDA approval of the drug.
The drugs aims to slow the advance of the disease by removing sticky clumps of the toxic protein beta amyloid from the brain. “Today’s news is incredibly important," said Dr. Howard Fillit, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. "Our years of research into what is arguably the most complex disease humans face is paying off and it gives us hope that we can make Alzheimer’s not just treatable, but preventable."
Eisai projected that the count of U.S. patients to be eligible for the drug would reach 100,000 within three years, rising gradually from there over the medium to long term.
According to Eisai, the drug would launch at an annual price of $26,500 and it also planned to apply for marketing authorization for Leqembi in Japan and the European Union by the end of its business year on March 31, expecting to receive an approval from the Japanese authority by the end of this year.