Dementia Research Centre


Alzheimer's drug approved in the US

8 June 2021

Aducanumab is a drug that has been used in clinical trials to treat early-stage Alzheimer's disease. The license for Aducanumab as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease has just been approved in the USA.

Dr Cath Mummery talking about Aducanumab

Unlike existing drugs used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, Aducanumab is a disease-modifying treatment, meaning that it targets the cause of Alzheimer's disease, namely a build up of abnormal proteins in the brain. Dr Cath Mummery leads the clinical trials team at the DRC where Aducanumab has been trialled on volunteers with early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

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Aducanumab: information for research participants and patients

Aducanumab is not currently available in the UK. In the UK, decisions about the use of new drugs are made by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). The MHRA have not yet made a decision about the use of Aducanumab in the UK; this process usually takes at least a year, though we do not have any date for a decision as yet. 

This is the first drug to be approved in Alzheimer's disease that tries to slow the course of the disease, rather than just treat the symptoms, so has generated a lot of interest. It is also the first drug to be approved for Alzheimer's disease since 2003. However, there has been considerable controversy over this drug since the first round of trials concluded. If you wish to read any more about this, please see the link below for frequently asked questions about Aducanumab.

Clinical Trials at the Dementia Research Centre, UCL

We are conducting a trial into aducanumab at the moment, but it is not recruiting any more people. There are no trials for Aducanumab doing so at the moment. However, if you would like to hear about the clinical trials we are recruiting to for Alzheimer's disease at the Dementia Research Centre, please contact the trials team at the email address below, who will be able to give you more information. 

Dementia Research Centre Trials: drctrialenquiries@ucl.ac.uk 

Rare Dementia Support

We run support groups for people living with young-onset Alzheimer's disease, posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and other forms of dementia which you might find helpful. Please visit the Rare Dementia Support (RDS) website and follow the link to the information about the area most relevant to you. 

Further Information

  • BBC News have a short video filmed with the DRC's Dr Cath Mummery in 2019 discussing Aducanumab here.
  • Brain Health Scotland have produced a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions here regarding Aducanumab and the FDA decision which may provide you with further useful information.