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Neurochem thought their Alzheimer’s disease drug, Alzhemed, would put them on the map with an anticipated annual sales of $4.5US billion.

Clinical trials on Alzheimer’s patients in early to middle stages of the disease were tracked over an 18 month period. During that period the drug showed no discernible difference when compared to the group taking a placebo. One of the problems is that a preclinical trial revealed only a micro amount of Alzhemed was successful in passing through the blood brain barrier and into the brain.

The pharmaceutical company is reviewing the data to determine if they will reapply for the FDA’s Phase III trial that cost $30 million and takes 2.5 years. The set-back has made them reconsider if they will proceed with a similar clinical trial planned in Europe where they have already recruited 966 patients.