If approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Greg Cooper of the Norton Neuroscience Institute believes the experimental medication lecanemab could be prescribed to patients in Louisville as soon as next fall.
“The hope is that when this medication is approved and we can prescribe it, that we can give this to people very early on in their disease course,” he told WLKY. “It doesn’t cure the disease, it, unfortunately, doesn’t even stop it from getting worse, but it significantly slows it down.”
According to Cooper, the drug is designed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in patients showing early symptoms. He calls it a significant step forward to treat a disease that does not have a cure.
“It’s just the first step of what I hope will be many advances,” he said. “I really hope that in my lifetime we’re able to much more effectively manage conditions like this.”
Whether or not the FDA approves the drug, Cooper says the fact that a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s is out there provides hope for patients in Kentucky.
“It may give them more time to travel, may give them more time with their loved ones,” Cooper said. “Maybe they get to see that grandchild graduate, maybe they get to see family members get married.”
The company Eisai Biologics plans to file for approval of lecanemab in the U.S. by the end of March, according to its news release. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the drug “priority review.”
If granted FDA approval, Cooper believes it would take a little less than a year before the medication could be prescribed to local Alzheimer’s patients.