WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — An Alzheimer’s drug developed by Eli Lilly received backing Monday from U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Advisers voted unanimously that the drug’s ability to slow the disease outweighs risk, including side effects like brain swelling and bleeding.

Lilly studied its drug by grouping patients based on levels of a brain protein called tau, which predicts severity of cognitive problems. That prompted FDA reviewers to question if patients might require a brain scan before getting the drug. But most panelists believe there is enough evidence of the drug’s benefit to prescribe it without screening for the protein.

FDA will make a final decision later in 2024.

The drug, donanemab, would be the second Alzheimer’s drug shown to slow cognitive decline and memory problems due to Alzheimer’s. In 2023, FDA approved a similar medication, Leqembi, by Eisai.

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