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12/24/2009 - News

Tarenflurbil Does Not Seem to Benefit Alzheimer Disease

By: June Chen, MD


A protein called amyloid-β peptide has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer disease. Tarenflurbil is an agent that selectively lowers amyloid-β peptide, and thus, it was hypothesized that tarenflurbil might be used to prevent cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer disease. However, in a study published in the December 16, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, tarenflurbil does not seem to have a beneficial effect in people with mild Alzheimer disease.

In order to determine the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of tarenflurbil, Scientists from Boston University School of Medicineand their colleagues conducted a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving patients with mild Alzheimer disease at 133 trial sites in the United States between February 2005 and April 2008. Of the 1684 Alzheimer patients who were randomized, 1649 were included in the statistical analysis and 1046 completed the clinical trial. The scientists found that tarenflurbil did not have a beneficial effect on either cognitive function or activities of daily living in patients with mild Alzheimer disease.

Although an earlier trial had demonstrated encouraging results for tarenflurbil among patients who were mildly affected by Alzheimer disease, this larger, randomized controlled trial did not support those earlier findings. The scientists speculate that one explanation for tarenflurbil’s lack of efficacy might be dose-related. However, they add that, to date, agents that affect amyloid have not yet been shown to alter the clinical of Alzeimer disease.



JAMA 2009;302(23):2557-2564.


Created on: 12/22/2009
Reviewed on: 12/24/2009

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Anonymous wrote 1 day 14 hours ago

This study was definitely disappointing. It was the largest study ever done for Alzheimer disease. Tarenflurbil had no meaningful impact on any outcomes, including the patients cognition or quality of life, or caregiver burden. A review of the study can be found here:

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