Merck might have developed the cure to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, specifically in middle-aged and old persons have been deteriorating mental health since early times.
Verubecestat, a tablet created by pharmaceutical giant Merck is found to have the credibility to kill the neurodegenerative disease, according to a report from the Scientific American, citing the research published in Science Translational Medicine.
It works by blocking the brain enzyme called BACE1 (for Beta-site Amyloid precursor protein Cleaving Enzyme 1, aka beta-secretase 1), stated to hold the responsibility of the production of amyloid plaques. Merck’s trial found that plaques were not a byproduct of the disease but it is the sole cause.
“We believe this research has the potential to contribute important evidence regarding the amyloid hypothesis, a leading scientific theory for what causes Alzheimer’s disease, and we look forward to seeing the data from our ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials,” Dr. Michael Egan, vice president of clinical development neurosciences at Merck Research Laboratories, stated on Market Watch.
The disease is affecting 500,000 people in the UK and victims are expected to rise to 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2050. The main cause of Alzheimer's is the development of clusters of proteins called amyloid plaques and bundles of tangled fibers in the brains. If any treatment is made, its goal should be the removal of amyloid buildup in the brain and prevent side-effects in humans as well. The theory that supports this trial as well is that this amyloid protein kills off healthy neurons that cause memory loss, reduced cognitive ability and then drastically leads to personality changes according to The Guardian.
“Today there are very limited the apeutic options available for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and those that exist provide the only short-term improvement to the cognitive and functional symptoms. They do not directly target the underlying disease processes. There is an urgent need for [these],” said Matt Kennedy who led the trial.
Kennedy also added that it’s still early to release the drug in the market since they are still awaiting the human patient’s results who had undergone the three phases. He also added that if the trials result succeeded, they would be eager as much to make its availability possible.