“Never giving up” is the message Eisai Co., Ltd., emphasizes when it comes to the company’s four decades of Alzheimer’s research. The global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Tokyo, with its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey, is focused on developing innovative solutions for people and families living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Driven by its commitment to human health care (hhc) — thinking first about patients and their families — Eisai uses its science, technology, and real-world expertise aims to push past scientific boundaries to deliver innovative and health-related solutions to patients. They know they have a responsibility to listen to and learn from patients and families.
“Our comprehensive approach to drug development is designed to serve patients with the goal of helping them live healthier and more fulfilling lives,” said Michael Irizarry, M.D., Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Clinical Officer, Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Health, Eisai Inc., noting that the company’s personal interactions with patients and caregivers drives its innovation.
Understanding Alzheimer’s disease
Dementia — a term that encompasses a group of disorders that can affect memory, language, and thinking — can have many causes, but AD is the most common form of dementia. AD is a brain disease that’s caused by damage to nerve cells in the brain, called neurons.
It’s the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States and the Alzheimer’s Association says 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. The association also reports that 55 million people worldwide are living with the disease or another dementia, including 6.5 million Americans 65 and over. This number could more than double by 2060 without development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow, or cure the disease.
AD is also a major challenge for families and caregivers, as well as healthcare systems and the community at large.
The first symptoms of the progressive disease are problems with memory, language, and thinking. Over time, more brain neurons get damaged and those with the disease may have increased difficulty carrying out daily activities.
While a family history of AD isn’t necessary for someone to develop the disease, those with a first-degree relative with AD are more likely to develop it than those without a family history.
The right intervention
Eisai is working to slow the disease progression of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. The company’s long-term goal is to streamline diagnostics and research in early disease detection, which can help improve the patient and caregiver experience.
For example, by using blood-based biomarkers, which are measures used to perform a clinical assessment (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol level), Eisai can monitor and potentially predict health states in individuals or across populations so appropriate therapeutic intervention can be planned.
“The biomarkers not only help physicians diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, but they can allow researchers to refine their recruiting processes for clinical trials,” Dr. Irizarry said. “With these new approaches and diagnostic techniques in place, this may lead to better outcomes.”
Eisai is committed to discovering novel biomarkers to identify the root cause and stage of each person’s disease, and to provide the right intervention, for the right person, at the right time.
“Eisai is at the forefront of research and development for AD, and we continue to tackle the underlying disease processes,” said Dr. Irizarry. “We are working to improve the experience of people living with the disease.”
Read more about Eisai and its research into Alzheimer’s disease at www.us.eisai.com.