WEATHER WATCH
New Alzheimer's drug being developed in Bellevue may boost brain function
Dr. Arif Khan of the Northwest Clinical Research Center displays syringes of the new investigation drug for Alzheimer's disease. (KOMO News photo)

BELLEVUE, Wash. - A new investigational drug could not only manage symptoms of Alzheimer's disease but also help improve brain function.

Right now, there are just five prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to manage the symptoms for Alzheimer’s disease, and it's been years since a new drug has been approved for Alzheimer’s disease.

But the new investigational drug  now being tested with the help of Northwest Clinical Research Center in Bellevue is designed to make brain cells of Alzheimer's patients more active and functional.

If approved by the FDA, it could potentially help the more than 120,000 people living with the disease in Washington state - and more than 6 million nationwide - who are eager for a new treatment.

Dr. Arif Khan of the Northwest Clinical Research Center says the new medication has been a decade in development, and now they are recruiting volunteers for the next phase of testing.

“We are particularly looking for patients with mild to moderate disease,” said Khan.

New Alzheimer's drug being developed in Bellevue may boost brain function (KOMO News Video - Denise Whitaker)

The medication is delivered through a syringe, once daily. The goal is to enhance cognitive function.

“So, the basic way to understand it, nerve cells are like limbs. You know they have all these limbs that go and touch each other, neurons and cells, so as you age this function is not as agile,” said Khan.

So, the point of the medication he says, is to make them more agile and function better. The potential is to reduce the disease to some extent and have a better quality of life.

Participants in the study are tested monthly for their cognitive function.

“The kind of test we have is, 'Do you know who the president is? Do you know what day it is? Do you know what state you’re in?'” he said.

Dr. Khan is now enrolling volunteers to test this new investigational drug, developed by Seattle-based Athira Pharma, in Washington and 15 other states.

View This Story on Our Site