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Lessons Learned from Approval of Aducanumab for Alzheimer's Disease.

When the US Food and Drug Administration used the accelerated approval process to authorize the use of the antiamyloid drug aducanumab to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD), many people hoped this signaled a new era of disease-modifying treatment. But 2 years later, aducanumab's failure to launch provides a cautionary tale about the complexities of dementia and the need for a thorough and transparent review of the role that regulatory agencies and various stakeholders play in approving AD drugs. We highlight the events leading to aducanumab's controversial approval and discuss some of the key lessons learned from the drug's failure to deliver the hoped-for benefits. These lessons include the inherent limitations of antiamyloid strategies for a complex disease in which amyloid is only one of several pathological processes, the need for clinical trials that better reflect the diversity of communities affected by AD, the potential pitfalls of futility analyses in clinical trials, the need for greater transparency and other modifications to the approval process, and the dementia field's unreadiness to move from the highly controlled environment of clinical trials to the widespread and chronic use of resource-intensive, disease-modifying drugs in real-world treatment scenarios. People with dementia desperately need effective therapies. We hope that the aducanumab story will inspire changes to the approval process-changes that restore public trust and improve future efforts to deliver disease-modifying therapies to the clinic.

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