After many years, people with Alzheimer's now have hope thanks to Stelios Papadopoulos, chairman of Biogen Inc., who made the first promising cure for the disease.
Speaking to ERT, Papadopoulos stressed that this "is a huge, but first step in the fight against Alzheimer's in history."
"A difficult disease and it has presented us with many obstacles to bring medicines to treat it," he said, adding: "The last time a drug was approved was in 2003."
Asked exactly what the action of the promising drug is, the chairman of Biogen Inc., said: "This drug is the first to hit the biological mechanism of Alzheimer's and not just its symptoms."
"The idea that a serious part of the disease, which in this particular drug can and does help to clear and channel out of the brain," he explained.
"Our results are exclusively for patients in the early stages of the disease," Papadopoulos stressed.
The drug is expected to be approved in Europe in 2022
"This decision was made after two years of analysing the data we had submitted and which had been collected from many years of studies that began in 2007," he said.
The chairman explained that "this drug delays the progression of the disease."
"If patients take the drug in the early stages of the disease, they simply slow down the symptoms. It certainly does not reverse or even stop instantly. It is the first step…," Papadopoulos noted.
In the next 10-20 years, it is expected that there will be even more important medicines for Alzheimer's.
Speaking about the high cost of the new treatment, Papadopoulos stated that in the U.S. the annual cost for each patient is $56,000 dollars.
"Typically drugs in Europe cost less than in America, and in Greece even less," he said, adding: "It will be up to the state to decide how to pay for it and the percentage that the patient will participate in."
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