Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND
Late Thursday evening, Esai publicly announced a decision to halt a Phase 3 clinical trial of a candidate treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, elenebecestat. The decision was made based on a recommendation by the study’s Data Safety Monitoring Board, which determined that the safety risks of the drug no longer justified continuing the study. Elenebecestat is a BACE (beta-site of the amyloid precursor protein cleavage enzyme) inhibitor that joins several other BACE inhibitors previously determined to lack adequate safety for patient use.
The field will grapple with this news and learn how these results relate to findings from similar trials of BACE inhibitors, as well as other types of potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. While disappointing and frustrating, we will not let these setbacks lessen our determination to develop effective therapies. It is imperative that we broaden the scope of potential new treatments, and much of the ongoing work in UCI MIND laboratories aims to do just that. We are tenaciously working to discover new treatment targets and develop effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, and we will not stop until this is achieved.