70-Year-Old Man Becomes The First Person In The World To Receive The Newly Approved Alzheimer's Disease Drug

A Rhode Island man has become the first patient in the world to receive an infusion of a newly approved Alzheimer's disease drug.

Marc Archambault, a 70-year-old real estate broker from South Kingstown, was treated at Butler Hospital with aducanumab, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 7.

Aducanumab, which is sold under the brand name Aduhelm, works by removing the sticky deposits of a protein called amyloid beta from the brains of patients in earlier stages of the age-related brain disease.  

Critics say clinical trial results were mixed, doubting the drug's effectiveness and questioning if the approval process was too quick. 

What's more, three members of an FDA advisory committee resigned, saying they didn't feel members were consulted before being authorization was given.

But Archambault says the drug may be his last chance at preventing his Alzheimer's disease from progressing to a late stage, in which he would lose the ability to carry on a conversation or even control movement

'I am a happy guy but hearing that the FDA had approved Aduhelm and that I am eligible for the treatment. I am living happier of course,' Archambault said in a statement. 

'The thought that the last stage [of Alzheimer's] may now be far away for me, or even that I might stay as I am, is incredible. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to receive this treatment.' 

Dr Stephen Salloway, who oversees the Memory and Aging Program at Butler, said around 100 patients will be given he drug once a month.

'Today, we're making history,' he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

'We're opening a new era in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.' 

The authorization of the drug comes via the FDA's accelerated approval pathway, which provides earlier access for patients with diseases that have few therapies and where there is an expectation of benefit despite some uncertainty.

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