Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of pre-senile dementia (a mental disorder or the degeneration of the brain). It is similar to senile dementia (dementia of the aged) except that it usually starts in the 40s or 50s while senile dementia starts from age 65.

The first symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease are impaired memory, which is followed by impaired thought and speech and finally the inability to help oneself.

BACE inhibitor approach

Statistics have shown that the Alzheimer’s market has an estimated large capital base and it is currently the most widely indescribable aspect of biotechnology.

The fundamental means of operation of the ailment is not well known and as a result, more than 97% of all the researches directed towards its treatment and prevention have proven unsuccessful.

In the last 5 years, researches in the pharmaceutical industry have identified BACE inhibitors to be the latest method in treating Alzheimer’s.

BACE otherwise known as Beta-secretase 1 is an enzyme that has been hypothetically ascribed to play an important role in the inception and advancement of Alzheimer’s.

BACE inhibitors are expected to stop or prevent the development or increase of beta-amyloid which is responsible for the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Major players in the Pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis and Amgen have invested towards researching their own derivative of the BACE inhibition to the market.

Some companies are collaborating together to get the BACE inhibitor derivatives. AstraZeneca and Lilly are working together on AZD3293, which is currently in late-stage two clinical studies.

Merck has a couple of late-stage studies in progress for its experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug verubecestat. Also, Novartis and Amgen are collaborating on a BACE inhibitor as well.

Other Approach

Aside from the BACE inhibitor, other researches are on-going for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease using monoclonal antibodies to prevent the formation and build-up of amyloid plague.


A number of failures in BACE related trials have been recorded nonetheless, in spite of the challenges faced by the development of BACE inhibitor 1 drug; companies have not relented in their efforts.

The current introduction of several BACE inhibitors derivative into clinical trials has revitalized the focus of the researching companies on the discovery an effective approach for treating the Alzheimer’s disease.

Recently released information has shown that Merck’s MK-8931 has advanced the farthest to Phase 2/3, while the other drugs including those from AstraZeneca, Eisai, and Pfizer, among others, are in Phases 1 and 2.

If this research becomes successful for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s it will reflect a beam of hope for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.


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