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June 2010

Tarenflurbil: Mechanisms and Myths

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Alzheimer Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, New York.

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(6):750-752. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.94


Effect of Tarenflurbil on Cognitive Decline and Activities of Daily Living in Patients With Mild Alzheimer Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Robert C. Green, MD, MPH; Lon S. Schneider, MD; David A. Amato, PhD; Andrew P. Beelen, MD; Gordon Wilcock, MD; Edward A. Swabb, MD, PhD; Kenton H. Zavitz, PhD; for the Tarenflurbil Phase 3 Study Group

Context:   Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ42) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Tarenflurbil, a selective Aβ42-lowering agent, demonstrated encouraging results on cognitive and functional outcomes among mildly affected patients in an earlier phase 2 trial.

Objective:   To determine the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of tarenflurbil.

Design, Setting, and Patients:   A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolling patients with mild AD was conducted at 133 trial sites in the United States between February 21, 2005, and April 30, 2008. Concomitant treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine was permitted.

Intervention:   Tarenflurbil, 800 mg, or placebo, administered twice a day.

Main Outcome Measures:   Co-primary efficacy end points were the change from baseline to month 18 in total score on the subscale of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog, 80-point version) and Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Studies–activities of daily living (ADCS-ADL) scale. Additional prespecified slope analyses explored the possibility of disease modification.

Results:   Of the 1684 participants randomized, 1649 were included in the analysis, and 1046 completed the trial. Tarenflurbil had no beneficial effect on the co-primary outcomes (difference in change from baseline to month 18 vs placebo, based on least squares means: 0.1 for ADAS-Cog; 95% CI, −0.9 to 1.1; P = .86 and −0.5 for ADCS-ADL; 95% CI, −1.9 to 0.9; P = .48) using an intent-to-treat analysis. No significant differences occurred in the secondary outcomes. The ADAS-Cog score decreased by 7.1 points over 18 months. The tarenflurbil group had a small increase in frequency of dizziness, anemia, and infections.

Conclusion:   Tarenflurbil did not slow cognitive decline or the loss of activities of daily living in patients with mild AD.

Trial Registration:   clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00105547

JAMA. 2009;302(23):2557-2564.