FDA approves Eli Lilly’s Kisunla to slow Alzheimer’s progression

The Food and Drug Administration has given its approval to Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug Kisunla.

Kisunla, the brand name of donanemab, can be used for mild and early cases of Alzheimer‘s-caused dementia, The New York Times reported.

The Wall Street Journal said that about 6 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

But with the hope of slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s, the drug comes with safety risks, including swelling and bleeding in the brain.

Like Leqembi, another treatment approved by the FDA last year, Kisunla is given by an intravenous infusion and targets the protein that is found in Alzheimer’s, according to the newspaper.

Kisunla is a once-a-month infusion. Leqembi is twice a month, The Associated Press reported.

Another difference between the two is that Kisunla can be stopped after the drug removes the amyloid protein, Eli Lilly said.

The clinical trial for Kisunla lasted 18 months and 17% of those tested were able to stop getting the treatment within six months. Another 47% stopped taking it in a year while 69% stopped in 18 months.

The study had more than 1,730 participants, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Researchers are now looking to find out how long the slower progression lasts after the trial, the Times reported.

A one-year course of treatment for Kisunla will cost $32,000. Leqembi costs $26,000 annually but cannot be stopped once the protein is cleared from a patient’s system, but it is covered by Medicare, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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