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Opinion
Lisa Jarvis

New Alzheimer's Drug From Biogen and Eisai Is Just the Beginning

A successful late-stage trial of lecanemab gives researchers promising new avenues for tackling this hard-to-beat disease.

A big leap forward.

A big leap forward.

Photographer: Bloomberg

A drug developed by Biogen Inc. and Eisai Co. has achieved a first in Alzheimer’s research: In a large, late-stage trial, lecanemab slowed down the cognitive decline in people with early disease.

The therapy’s effect was modest. But given the litany of failures in Alzheimer’s drug development, it’s a stunning turn for the field. And while skepticism about the true meaning of these results — for patients, for the fate of similar drugs, for our understanding of the disease — is warranted, the result is meaningful enough to let the Alzheimer’s community celebrate a possible win.