The Food and Drug Administration on June 7 approved Aducanumab, which will carry the brand name Aduhelm, as the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly 20 years.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Cummings, UNLV research professor and leading expert on Alzheimer's clinical trials, calls the FDA’s decision to approve Aducanumab significant.  “This is the first drug for Alzheimer’s that slows the progress of the disease by interfering with the accumulation of the toxic protein in the brain, called beta-amyloid, and also helps immune cells locate the protein so they can remove it," says Cummings.

The analysis of Aducanumab, and other promising drugs in the pipeline, is part of Cummings' work leading the world’s only research observatory devoted exclusively to Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials and drug development. 

For the past five years, Cummings and his team have completed a comprehensive analysis of the pipeline of drugs in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Dr. Cummings is available to offer insight into the current landscape of Alzheimer's clinical trials, including the historic June 7 FDA approval of Aduhelm (aducanumab).

Prior to UNLV, Dr. Cummings served as founding director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, and as director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Deane F. Johnson Center for Neurotherapeutics, both at UCLA.

Dr. Cummings' current work is part of the Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience at UNLV, dedicated to advancing clinical trial methods to get better treatments to patients faster. The Center is part of the department of brain health within the university's School of Integrated Health Sciences.