Pfizer had clues its drug could prevent Alzheimer’s but kept it secret

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Hmmm.

A team of researchers inside Pfizer made a startling find in 2015: The company’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis therapy Enbrel, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, appeared to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent.

The results were from an analysis of hundreds of thousands of insurance claims. Verifying that the drug would actually have that effect in people would require a costly clinical trial - and after several years of internal discussion, Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public, the company confirmed.

Researchers in the company’s division of inflammation and immunology urged Pfizer to conduct a clinical trial on thousands of patients, which they estimated would cost $80 million, to see if the signal contained in the data was real, according to an internal company document obtained by The Washington Post.

“Enbrel could potentially safely prevent, treat and slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease,″ said the document, a PowerPoint slide show that was prepared for review by an internal Pfizer committee in February 2018.

The company told The Post that it decided during its three years of internal reviews that Enbrel did not show promise for Alzheimer’s prevention because the drug does not directly reach brain tissue. It deemed the likelihood of a successful clinical trial to be low. A synopsis of its statistical findings prepared for outside publication, it says, did not meet its “rigorous scientific standards.″

Science was the sole determining factor against moving forward, company spokesman Ed Harnaga said.
 
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Kara Spengler

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They said they were scared of the costs of a trial? A company like that makes so much money the cost of a trial is a drop in the bucket. They were likely scared it was TOO good ... pharmacies do not want to cure anything, they want to get people buying their drug on a regular basis.

For example, right now I am involved with a set of trials for an emergency inhaler when someone is having epileptic seizures. It is not designed for daily use but in emergencies, something needed right now as currently the response to someone having seizures is usually to wait them out.
 

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... pharmacies do not want to cure anything, they want to get people buying their drug on a regular basis.
Yup: one big buck in their pocket, another big buck in their pocket and yet another one...... hey, that mustn't stop.
We have tread, not cure.... and another big buck or two or a million, maybe a coupe of billion, thank you .........
 

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They said they were scared of the costs of a trial? A company like that makes so much money the cost of a trial is a drop in the bucket. They were likely scared it was TOO good ... pharmacies do not want to cure anything, they want to get people buying their drug on a regular basis.

For example, right now I am involved with a set of trials for an emergency inhaler when someone is having epileptic seizures. It is not designed for daily use but in emergencies, something needed right now as currently the response to someone having seizures is usually to wait them out.
Wow - that sounds awesome. Does it replace your epilepsy medication or is it just for seizures that happen despite being on medication (like when the efficacy of the med your on wears off?) I'd be very curious to hear if it works for you.

I hate my epilepsy meds - I have yet to find one that does not affect some other part of my body in some negative way. For example; Dilantin = extreme weight gain and brain atrophy, Zonisimide = muscle wasting and weakness, Topamax = obsessive compulsive behavior and inability to focus (that's what I'm on now and I'd love to get off it, my seizures were so infrequent that I'd really prefer treating them when they are going to happen as opposed to having to stay on a particular med). All of the meds have unpleasant and in some cases down right dangerous side effects. The thing with my seizures is that even though they are grand mal now, I can tell when they are going to happen. I have indicators (My eye focus gets dark and I hear a sound that's like scraping ice).
 
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Kara Spengler

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Wow - that sounds awesome. Does it replace your epilepsy medication or is it just for seizures that happen despite being on medication (like when the efficacy of the med your on wears off?) I'd be very curious to hear if it works for you.

I hate my epilepsy meds - I have yet to find one that does not affect some other part of my body in some negative way. For example; Dilantin = extreme weight gain and brain atrophy, Zonisimide = muscle wasting and weakness, Topamax = obsessive compulsive behavior and inability to focus (that's what I'm on now and I'd love to get off it, my seizures were so infrequent that I'd really prefer treating them when they are going to happen as opposed to having to stay on a particular med). All of the meds have unpleasant and in some cases down right dangerous side effects. The thing with my seizures is that even though they are grand mal now, I can tell when they are going to happen. I have indicators (My eye focus gets dark and I hear a sound that's like scraping ice).
Here is the info: https://engagetherapeutics.com/about/

There are other links on the web recruiting people for the trials and about their stage 1 results (this is in the 2nd stage where they work out the dosage). You might want to talk to your doctor if it sounds interesting.

The actual device probably will not help me directly but may help you. It is not designed for daily use but is for when you know a seizure is oncoming (like in a cluster or when an aura is present). I get my major seizures rarely but my small "lip twitches" happen multiple times a day; I just took the small ones as par for the course until my doctor had a different opinion and wanted more data to decide on a course of therapy (like surgery). My going in this trial gets her that data (my insurance would not pay, boo hiss) plus it also helps out people who would benefit it but are unable to be part of the trial.

I have gone through I-lost-count how many medications. All of them either were not as effective as hoped or had some side effect, usually both.