High failure rate for Alzheimer’s drug trials

Researchers have warned of a high failure rate in Alzheimer’s drugs trials, calling for more potential therapies to be explored.

In a report recently published in the Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy journal, a group of American researchers have warned that the failure rate of Alzheimer’s drug trials was worryingly high.

According to their findings, 99.6% of trials for potential treatments failed or were discontinued between 2002 and 2012, with only one new treatment having been approved in the past decade.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Simon Ridley of Alzheimer’s Research UK, raised concerns that the high failure rate would discourage pharmaceutical companies from investing in Alzheimer’s research and serve to exacerbate the issue.

“The only way we will successfully defeat dementia is to continue with high quality, innovative research, improve links with industry and increase investment in clinical trials,” he said.

The high failure rate is a cause for concern because Alzheimer’s – the most common form of dementia – currently affects more than 820,000 across the UK, although figures continue to rise.