[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials enroll participants multinationally. Yet, few data exist to guide investigators and sponsors regarding the types of patients enrolled in these studies and whether participant characteristics vary by region.
We used data derived from four multinational phase III trials in mild to moderate AD to examine whether regional differences exist with regard to participant demographics, safety reporting, and baseline scores on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the 11-item Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog11), the Clinical Dementia Rating scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB), the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory (ADCS-ADL), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). We assigned 31 participating nations to 7 geographic regions: North America, South America/Mexico, Western Europe/Israel, Eastern Europe/Russia, Australia/South Africa, Asia, and Japan.
North America, Western Europe/Israel, and Australia/South Africa enrolled similar proportions of men, apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers, and participants with spouse study partners, whereas Asia, Eastern Europe/Russia, and South America/Mexico had lower proportions for these variables. North America and South America/Mexico enrolled older subjects, whereas Asia and South America/Mexico enrolled less-educated participants than the remaining regions. Approved AD therapy use differed among regions (range: 73% to 92%) and was highest in North America, Western Europe/Israel, and Japan. Dual therapy was most frequent in North America (48%). On the MMSE, North America, Western Europe/Israel, Japan, and Australia/South Africa had higher (better) scores, and Asia, South America/Mexico, and Eastern Europe/Russia had lower scores. Eastern Europe/Russia had more impaired ADAS-cog11 scores than all other regions. Eastern Europe/Russia and South America/Mexico had more impaired scores for the ADCS-ADL and the CDR-SB. Mean scores for the CDR-SB in Asia were milder than all regions except Japan. NPI scores were lower in Asia and Japan than in all other regions. Participants in North America and Western Europe/Israel reported more adverse events than those in Eastern Europe/Russia and Japan.
These findings suggest that trial populations differ across geographic regions on most baseline characteristics and that multinational enrollment is associated with sample heterogeneity. The data provide initial guidance with regard to the regional differences that contribute to this heterogeneity and are important to consider when planning global trials.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1186/s13195-015-0122-5 · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OPtimizing Transdermal Exelon In Mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (OPTIMA) was a randomized, double-blind comparison of 13.3 mg/24 h versus 9.5 mg/24 h rivastigmine patch in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease who declined despite open-label treatment with 9.5 mg/24 h patch. Over 48 weeks of double-blind treatment, high-dose patch produced greater functional and cognitive benefits compared with 9.5 mg/24 h patch.
Using OPTIMA data, a post-hoc responder analysis was performed to firstly, compare the proportion of patients demonstrating improvement or absence of decline with 13.3 mg/24 h versus 9.5 mg/24 h patch; and secondly, identify predictors of improvement or absence of decline. 'Improvers' were patients who improved on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) by ≥4 points from baseline, and did not decline on the instrumental domain of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living scale (ADCS-IADL). 'Non-decliners' were patients who did not decline on either scale.
Overall, 265 patients randomized to 13.3 mg/24 h and 271 to 9.5 mg/24 h patch met the criteria for inclusion in the intention-to-treat population and were included in the analyses. Significantly more patients were 'improvers' with 13.3 mg/24 h compared with 9.5 mg/24 h patch at Weeks 24 (44 (16.6%) versus 19 (7.0%); P < 0.001) and 48 (21 (7.9%) versus 10 (3.7%); P = 0.023). A significantly greater proportion of patients were 'non-decliners' with 13.3 mg/24 h compared with 9.5 mg/24 h patch at Week 24 (71 (26.8%) versus 44 (16.2%); P = 0.002). At Week 48, there was a trend in favor of 13.3 mg/24 h patch. Functional and cognitive assessment scores at double-blind baseline did not consistently predict effects at Weeks 24 or 48.
More patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease who are titrated to 13.3 mg/24 h rivastigmine patch at time of decline are 'improvers' or 'non-decliners' i.e. show responses on cognition and activities of daily living compared with patients remaining on 9.5 mg/24 h patch.
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00506415; registered July 20, 2007.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1):9. DOI:10.1186/s13195-014-0088-8 · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To facilitate enrollment and meet local registration requirements, sponsors have increasingly implemented multi-national Alzheimer's disease (AD) studies. Geographic regions vary on many dimensions that may affect disease progression or its measurement. To aid researchers designing and implementing Phase 3 AD trials, we assessed disease progression across geographic regions using placebo data from four large, multi-national clinical trials of investigational compounds developed to target AD pathophysiology.
Four similarly-designed 76 to 80 week, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials with nearly identical entry criteria enrolled patients aged ≥55 years with mild or moderate NINCDS/ADRDA probable AD. Descriptive analyses were performed for observed mean score and observed mean change in score from baseline at each scheduled visit. Data included in the analyses were pooled from the intent-to-treat placebo-assigned overall (mild and moderate) AD dementia populations from all four studies. Disease progression was assessed as change from baseline for each of 5 scales - the AD Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog11), the AD Cooperative Study- Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADCS-ADL), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Clinical Dementia Rating scored by the sum of boxes method (CDR-SB), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).
Regions were heterogeneous at baseline. At baseline, disease severity as measured by ADAS-cog11, ADCS-ADL, and CDR-SB was numerically worse for Eastern Europe/Russia compared with other regions. Of all regional populations, Eastern Europe/Russia showed the greatest cognitive and functional decline from baseline; Japan, Asia and/or S. America/Mexico showed the least cognitive and functional decline.
These data suggest that in multi-national clinical trials, AD progression or its measurement may differ across geographic regions; this may be in part due to heterogeneity across populations at baseline. The observed differences in AD progression between outcome measures across geographic regions may generalize to 'real-world' clinic populations, where heterogeneity is the norm.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00594568 - IDENTITY. Registered 11 January 2008. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00762411 - IDENTITY2. Registered 26 September 2008 ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00905372 - EXPEDITION. Registered 18 May 2009 ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00904683 - EXPEDITION2. Registered 18 May 2009.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1186/s13195-015-0127-0 · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) such as agitation and aggression is a major priority in caring for people with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Agitation and aggression (A/A) are among the most disruptive symptoms, and given their impact, they are increasingly an important target for development of effective treatments. Considerable progress has been made in the last years with a growing number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of drugs for NPS. The limited benefits reported in some RCTs may be accounted for by the absence of a biological link of the tested molecule to NPS and also by key methodological issues. In recent RCTs of A/A, a great heterogeneity design was found. Designing trials for dementia populations with NPS presents many challenges, including identification of appropriate participants for such trials, engagement and compliance of patients and caregivers in the trials and the choice of optimal outcome measures to demonstrate treatment effectiveness. The EU/US -CTAD Task Force, an international collaboration of investigators from academia, industry, non-profit foundations, and regulatory agencies met in Philadelphia on November 19, 2014 to address some of these challenges. Despite potential heterogeneity in clinical manifestations and neurobiology, agitation and aggression seems to be accepted as an entity for drug development. The field appears to be reaching a consensus in using both agitation and aggression (or other NPS)-specific quantitative measures plus a global rating of change for agitation outcomes based on clinician judgment as the main outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Recent progress has been made with clinical trials, advancing new therapies for psychosis in Parkinson's disease (PD), agitation in AD, and apathy in AD. Definitions have emerged for agitation and apathy in patients with cognitive impairment, facilitating recruitment of clinical trial populations. Progress in clinical trial design and the agents being assessed promise to advance therapies for disabling symptoms and improve quality of life for patients and caregivers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and its prevalence is increasing. Recent developments in AD management provide improved ways of supporting patients and their caregivers throughout the disease continuum. Managing cardiovascular risk factors, maintaining an active lifestyle (with regular physical, mental and social activity) and following a Mediterranean diet appear to reduce AD risk and may slow cognitive decline. Pharmacologic therapy for AD should be initiated upon diagnosis. All of the currently available cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs; donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine) are indicated for mild-to-moderate AD. Donepezil (10 and 23 mg/day) and rivastigmine transdermal patch (13.3 mg/24 h) are indicated for moderate-to-severe AD. Memantine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist, is approved for moderate-to-severe AD. ChEIs have been shown to improve cognitive function, global clinical status and patients' ability to perform activities of daily living. There is also evidence for reduction in emergence of behavioral symptoms with ChEI therapy. Treatment choice (e.g., oral vs. transdermal) should be based on patient or caregiver preference, ease of use, tolerability, and cost. Treatment should be individualized; patients can be switched from one ChEI to another if the initial agent is poorly tolerated or ineffective. Memantine may be introduced in moderate-to-severe disease stages. Clinicians will regularly monitor symptoms and behaviors, manage comorbidities, assess function, educate and help caregivers access information and support, evaluate patients' fitness to drive or own firearms, and provide advice about the need for legal and financial planning. Review of caregiver well-being and prompt referral for support is vital.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Agitation is common across neuropsychiatric disorders and contributes to disability, institutionalization, and diminished quality of life for patients and their caregivers. There is no consensus definition of agitation and no widespread agreement on what elements should be included in the syndrome. The International Psychogeriatric Association formed an Agitation Definition Work Group (ADWG) to develop a provisional consensus definition of agitation in patients with cognitive disorders that can be applied in epidemiologic, non-interventional clinical, pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic interventional, and neurobiological studies. A consensus definition will facilitate communication and cross-study comparison and may have regulatory applications in drug development programs.
The ADWG developed a transparent process using a combination of electronic, face-to-face, and survey-based strategies to develop a consensus based on agreement of a majority of participants. Nine-hundred twenty-eight respondents participated in the different phases of the process.
Agitation was defined broadly as: (1) occurring in patients with a cognitive impairment or dementia syndrome; (2) exhibiting behavior consistent with emotional distress; (3) manifesting excessive motor activity, verbal aggression, or physical aggression; and (4) evidencing behaviors that cause excess disability and are not solely attributable to another disorder (psychiatric, medical, or substance-related). A majority of the respondents rated all surveyed elements of the definition as "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" (68-88% across elements). A majority of the respondents agreed that the definition is appropriate for clinical and research applications.
A provisional consensus definition of agitation has been developed. This definition can be used to advance interventional and non-interventional research of agitation in patients with cognitive impairment.
International Psychogeriatrics 10/2014; 27(1):1-11. DOI:10.1017/S1041610214001963 · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Prevention Instrument Project is a longitudinal study that recruited 644 cognitively healthy older subjects (aged between 75 and 93 years, 58% women) at baseline and evaluated their cognitive change over 4 years. The study was structured like a clinical trial to anticipate a prevention trial and to determine the performance of novel trial instruments in a longitudinal non-interventional trial framework. Behavioral symptoms were assessed at baseline.
The existence of participant-reported behavioral symptoms at baseline predicted conversion to Clinical Dementia Rating scale score ≥0.5 over the 4-year period.
The results imply that early anxiety and depression may be harbingers of future cognitive decline, and that patients exhibiting such symptoms, even in the absence of co-occurring cognitive symptoms, should be closely followed over time.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: In patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the relationship between cognitive and functional progression is not fully understood; however, functional decline has been postulated to follow cognitive decline. Objective: To assess the relationship between cognitive and functional treatment effects in mild AD dementia patients. Methods: Data of patients with mild AD were pooled from two multicenter, double-blind, Phase 3 studies. Patients were randomized to infusions of 400-mg solanezumab (n = 654), or placebo (n = 660) every 4 weeks for 18 months. Cognitive and functional outcome measures were assessed using the AD Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) and the AD Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL), respectively. Analyses included comparisons among normalized scales, correlations between outcome measures, and path analyses to model the relationship of treatment effect on cognition and function. Results: Normalized ADAS-Cog and ADCS-ADL scales showed cognitive impairment was more evident than functional impairment in mild AD. The correlation between cognition and function increased over time. Path analyses demonstrated that 87% of the treatment effect on function was driven by the treatment effect on cognition, with the remaining 13% due to direct treatment effect. Conclusion: Findings from this study are consistent with the hypothesis that functional impairment is primarily driven by and follows cognitive decline in mild AD dementia. The cognitive treatment effect appeared to explain the majority of the functional treatment effect. It is possible that a cognitive treatment effect may be considered as a leading indicator for functional outcomes in an 18-month clinical trial for milder stages of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is increasing in frequency as the global population ages. Five drugs are approved for treatment of AD, including four cholinesterase inhibitors and an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist. We have an urgent need to find new therapies for AD.
We examined Clinicaltrials.gov, a public website that records ongoing clinical trials. We examined the decade of 2002 to 2012, to better understand AD-drug development. We reviewed trials by sponsor, sites, drug mechanism of action, duration, number of patients required, and rate of success in terms of advancement from one phase to the next. We also reviewed the current AD therapy pipeline.
During the 2002 to 2012 observation period, 413 AD trials were performed: 124 Phase 1 trials, 206 Phase 2 trials, and 83 Phase 3 trials. Seventy-eight percent were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. The United States of America (U.S.) remains the single world region with the greatest number of trials; cumulatively, more non-U.S. than U.S. trials are performed. The largest number of registered trials addressed symptomatic agents aimed at improving cognition (36.6%), followed by trials of disease-modifying small molecules (35.1%) and trials of disease-modifying immunotherapies (18%). The mean length of trials increases from Phase 2 to Phase 3, and the number of participants in trials increases between Phase 2 and Phase 3. Trials of disease-modifying agents are larger and longer than those for symptomatic agents. A very high attrition rate was found, with an overall success rate during the 2002 to 2012 period of 0.4% (99.6% failure).
The Clinicaltrials.gov database demonstrates that relatively few clinical trials are undertaken for AD therapeutics, considering the magnitude of the problem. The success rate for advancing from one phase to another is low, and the number of compounds progressing to regulatory review is among the lowest found in any therapeutic area. The AD drug-development ecosystem requires support.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 07/2014; 6(4):37. DOI:10.1186/alzrt269 · 3.98 Impact Factor