Testing of experimental Alzheimer’s drug continues

    Experts are disappointed that an experimental Alzheimer’s drug failed to be effective in a late-stage study, but still hold out hope it might work.

    The injected drug tested by Pfizer Inc. with partner Johnson & Johnson did not slow mental or functional decline in patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s.

    Maria Carrillo, the senior director of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association, says three other studies of the drug might produce better results.

    “We certainly understand that progress is incremental, and we will have setbacks along the way. Alzheimer’s disease is not an easy disease, otherwise we would have had a solution a long time ago,” she said Tuesday. “I think we also know that setbacks provide us a lot of information for the general research community that we can apply to future studies.”

    More than 150,000 New Jersey residents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Delaware has about 14,000 cases, while Pennsylvania has about 280,000 Alzheimer’s patients.

    Carrillo says by the middle of the century caring for those with the disease nationwide will cost more than a trillion dollars a year.

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