US authority approves new Alzheimer's drug donanemab

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for Alzheimer's disease after confirming that it is effective at slowing the progression of the disease.

The FDA announced on Tuesday that clinical trials confirmed the effectiveness of donanemab. It was developed by major US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

An abnormal protein called amyloid beta is known to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. This protein is believed to destroy nerve cells, contributing to the neurodegenerative disease.

Donanemab is an antibody drug that binds to the amyloid beta protein and removes it.

The FDA said, "Alzheimer's disease is a devastating disease for the person diagnosed and their loved ones." It added, "Today's approval is evidence of the FDA's commitment to helping more safe and effective drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease become available."

Eli Lilly last year submitted an application seeking approval for the drug in Japan.