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Cortexyme, pressing forward after its novel approach to Alzheimer’s disease failed in a mid-stage trial, believes a lower dose of the medicine might safely treat a subset of patients. But detailed data, presented at a medical conference Thursday, suggest the path ahead could be difficult.

In the roughly 650-patient study, Cortexyme’s drug proved no better than placebo at slowing patients’ decline, as measured by tests of cognition and ability to complete basic activities. However, the failed trial taught the company how to succeed next time, said Michael Detke, Cortexyme’s chief medical officer, at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease meeting in Boston.

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