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Baxter drug fails to slow Alzheimer’s in big study

Baxter International Inc. says thblood product it was testing failed slow mental decline or preserve physical functimajor study 390 patients

Baxter International Inc. says that a blood product it was testing failed to slow mental decline or to preserve physical function in a major study of 390 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. | File photo

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DEERFIELD — Baxter International Inc. says a blood product it was testing failed to slow mental decline or to preserve physical function in a major study of 390 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

The company says that people who received 18 months of infusions with its drug, Gammagard, fared no better than others given infusions of a dummy solution.

Gammagard is immune globulin, natural antibodies culled from donated blood. Researchers thought these antibodies might help remove amyloid, the sticky plaque that clogs patients’ brains, sapping memory and ability to think.

Patients with moderate disease and those with a gene that raises risk of Alzheimer’s seemed to benefit although the study was not big enough to say for sure.

Gammagard is already sold to treat some blood disorders.



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