Impact of COVID-19 on dementia clinical trials

24 May 2020

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Alzheimer’s Research UK’s, Director of Research discusses the impact of COVID-19 on dementia clinical trials.

Dr Carol Routledge, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“COVID-19 is impacting all of our lives; however, the evidence is showing those with dementia are disproportionately affected.

“Around the world most dementia trials have been affected in some way, with many clinical studies now suspended and new drug trials postponed, as contact with trial participants becomes difficult and pharmaceutical companies understandably turn their focus to COVID-19. Not only are clinical trials affected but research to maintain the critical pipeline of potential new drugs has also been scaled back, with lab work unlikely to resume at its previous pace.

“Alzheimer’s Research UK will continue to push for progress, where it is safe and feasible to do so. We cannot afford to lose the momentum in dementia research that we have built up in the past few years.

“While COVID-19 is an immediate threat, there are nearly one million people in the UK living with dementia and with no treatments currently able to stop or slow the underlying diseases, we owe it to them to make breakthroughs possible. Promisingly, many ongoing clinical trials still remain open; with drugs being delivered to study volunteers at home.

“It is positive news that talks between regulators and the pharmaceutical company responsible for aducanumab, possibly the first disease modifying Alzheimer’s drug, are still going ahead.

“Our mission to bring about the first life-changing treatment for dementia remains and there are still opportunities for volunteers to take part in dementia research today, so they can help progress our efforts. The Join Dementia Research service still has studies open, online or over the phone. To sign up to the service contact Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Dementia Research Infoline on 0300 111511.”