Analysis estimates more than 30 Alzheimer’s drugs will have launched by 2022

Coloured brain scan

Over the next 5 years, 27 phase III and 8 phase II Alzheimer’s drugs may be launched, according to a pipeline analysis carried out by ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s (RA2). It also estimates that two new Alzheimer’s drugs, masitinib and brexpiprazole, currently in phase III, will be launched by 2018[1]

The analysis, which was presented on 18 July 2017 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, estimates when critical milestones in drug development could be reached. These milestones include trial completion, regulatory filing and launch dates for drugs in phase II and phase III clinical trials.

The report shows that there is currently an upward trajectory in the development of Alzheimer’s drugs, with an 18% increase in phase II drugs and a 7% increase in phase III drugs between 2016 and 2017.

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to treating Alzheimer’s,” said David Morgan, a founding member of RA2 and professor of molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida.

“The more we learn about the underlying Alzheimer’s pathology, the closer we get to a cure for a disease that is an enormous burden on patients, caregivers and global health systems,” he added. 

The analysis, which was constructed through extensive research and interviews, also presents a breakdown of the drugs according to the mechanism of action. It shows that currently most drugs in phase II and phase III clinical trials are drugs that target neurotransmission and amyloid protein build-up.

It also compares the number of disease-modifying drugs, that is, drugs that attempt to alter the underlying pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease, with that of symptomatic drugs, those that attempt to lessen the symptomology often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. There are currently 22 disease-modifying drugs in phase III and 41 in phase II, compared with 10 symptomatic drugs in phase III and 17 in phase II.

RA2 says it will continue to provide regular updates on the status of drug development in Alzheimer’s.


[1] ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s drugs in development pipeline. Available at: (accessed July 2017)

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Analysis estimates more than 30 Alzheimer’s drugs will have launched by 2022;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203230

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