On Thursday, the FDA approved Leqembi, a new treatment for Alzheimer’s. The decision marks the first Alzheimer’s antibody treatment to receive full FDA approval.
Shortly after the announcement from the FDA, Medicare said it would cover the treatment for those enrolled in the program. While Leqembi is not a cure, clinical trials showed that it could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by about 27 percent.
The antibody, administered twice monthly through intravenous infusion, targets a protein called amyloid that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Medicare coverage was crucial, as Leqembi costs $26,000 without insurance.
Joanna Pike, president of the Alzheimer’s Association, told reporters “this gives people more months of recognizing their spouse, children and grandchildren This also means more time for a person to drive safely, accurately and promptly take care of family finances, and participate fully in hobbies and interests.”
The FDA has noted that the treatment may cause brain swelling and bleeding. Three patients reportedly died under unclear circumstances during the clinical trial.