Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health have conducted the first-ever analysis of clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease (AD), revealing an urgent need to increase the number of agents entering the AD drug development pipeline and progressing successfully towards new therapy treatments. The paper, "Alzheimer's Disease Drug Development Pipeline: Few Candidates, Frequent Failures," was published in the journal Alzheimer's Research & Therapy.
A comprehensive look at all clinical trials underway shows:
- There are relatively few drugs in development for Alzheimer's disease.
- The failure rate for AD drug development is 99.6 percent for the decade 2002-2012.
- The number of drugs has been declining since 2009.
Using the advanced search mechanisms of ClinicalTrials.gov, a government website that records all ongoing clinical trials, Dr. Cummings, along with Kate Zhong, M.D., Senior Director of Clinical Research and Development, and Touro University medical student Travis Morstorf, constructed a comprehensive analysis to examine all trials since 2002.
"By analyzing both completed as well as on-going trials and currently active compounds, we were able to provide insight into longitudinal trends in drug development," said Dr. Zhong. "What we found was that the investment in AD drugs and therapies is relatively low compared to the challenge posed by the disease. The pipeline is almost dry."