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The missing Alzheimer’s pill

Built on a new understanding of how a particular defect in a gene can disrupt the workings of the body, the drug zeroes in on critical proteins inside cells to keep them functioning.

If there’s a dream of what a new drug is supposed to do, it might look something like Kalydeco. In 2012, the new light-blue pill from Vertex Pharmaceuticals rocked the world of cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease that affects 30,000 people in the United State. It’s best known for its attack on the lungs, slowly suffocating its victims while attacking other organs—but when patients got the drug in its experimental phase, some started reporting such enormous improvement in their breathing and energy they were able to take up running, even marathoning.

DAVID H. FREEDMAN 12/13/2017 05:19 AM EST

 

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