Disappointment as Alzheimer's drug flops

Lilly Alzheimer's drug fails to slow memory loss in big study

Lilly's stock took a hit on the news, dropping almost 12% to trade near $67 per share.

However, early Wednesday the company announced patients with mild dementia from Alzheimer's treated with the drug didn't experience any slower cognitive decline compared to patients who took a placebo. Eli Lilly says the results "directionally favored" solanezumab, but differences were so small that management has chose to shutter any future development of the drug. As a result, Lilly said that it will not seek to make any submissions to regulatory authorities seeking to have solanezumab approved for treating mild dementia related to Alzheimer's disease. "We will evaluate the impact of these results on the development plans for solanezumab and our other Alzheimer's pipeline assets", Dr Lechleiter said.

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now. and Eli Lilly and Co. wasn't one of them! More than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. The results were unveiled in the company's Expedition 3 study. "We don't know the answer".

Stock markets highly value experimental Alzheimer's drugs because there is now no treatment available to halt or slow down the disease, a form of dementia.

The results are a blow to the Alzheimer's community at large, as high stakes were hedged against the drug successfully targeting amyloid plaques and improving cognitive measures based on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog14).

Alzheimer's is a degenerative, fatal disease that impairs memory and thought.

If it had been successful, it would have been the first new treatment for dementia since 2003, and the first to slow the progression of Alzheimer's. The Eli Lilly outcome "doesn't disprove the amyloid hypothesis, and it really increases the importance of these longer prevention trials", says Eric Reiman, executive director of the institute, and leader of the trials.

In all, Biogen is conducting clinical trials on three Alzheimer's compounds and is about to move two others into trials. "We can't disregard these ongoing trials and their findings will now be more important than ever in shaping the search for disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer's".

The drug targeted the build up of amyloid protein, which forms sticky plaques in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's.

The results of the trial were much anticipated after promising data was released a year ago. Called verubecestat, Merck's treatment targets an enzyme called BACE, which regulates the body's production of amyloid. But Geoffrey Porges, biotech analyst at Boston health care investment bank Leerink Partners, stressed in a note to investors that Biogen's drug is "a materially different antibody" that works in a different way and is being tested on a different set of patients than Lilly's drug.

Eli Lilly has also been running "prevention" trials to see whether solanezumab might be able to stop people at particularly high genetic risk of Alzheimer's from getting the disease.

"One could call it the beginning of a next generation of efforts for treatment for Alzheimer's", he said.

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