(WHTM) — A potentially ground-breaking drug that will help people suffering from Alzheimer’s is on the horizon.

Experts in the Midstate shared more about what the data shows and what it could mean for those who are suffering from the disease, which is over six million Americans.

The new experimental drug, called lecanemab, has shown promise.

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“I think there’s a lot of excitement about us being perhaps on the cusp of disease modification in Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Krishnankutty Sathian of Penn State Health’s department of neurology.

Nearly 1,800 people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s participated in phase three clinical trials at over 200 locations throughout the United States.

Half of the participants in the trial were given lecanemab, and the other half were given a placebo.

Researchers say the drug slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s by 27 percent.

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“I think patients and families would really appreciate that extra time,” added Dr. Sathian.

The drug works by reducing amyloid levels in the brain, which are believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s.

“There are more causes than just amyloid plaques. So, anti-tau therapies, anti-inflammation therapies, so many other things have to be explored and will absolutely be required to be used together to really make a dent in this disease in the near future,” said Maria Carrillo of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The FDA is expected to decide whether it will grant accelerator approval to the drug in early January 2023.

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“Once we have the accelerated approval, immediately, within days, we will file the Clarity AD data for our full traditional approval not only in the U.S., but we will be also filing in Europe, as well as in Japan,” said Ivan Cheung of Eisai.

Experts emphasized that the drug is not a cure, and there can be serious side effects such as brain bleeds. However, doctors overall agree the drug is a step in the right direction.

“Unfortunately, it’s a long road. I would say that at least we have the possibility that this is the right road,” concluded Dr. Sathian.