Blood Product Fails To Slow Alzheimer’s Disease In Major Study

DEERFIELD, Ill. (May 7, 2013)--Baxter International Inc. says that a blood product it was testing failed to slow mental decline or preserve physical function in a major study of 390 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

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

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 sample was not big enough to say for sure.

Gammagard is already sold to treat some blood disorders.

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