Lilly announce further results from phase III Alzheimer’s drug trials

Potential new Alzheimer's drug solanezumab did show benefits for those with mild Alzheimer's.

Posted on 9th October 2012

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has today announced more detailed analysis of their phase III clinical trials with the potential new Alzheimer’s drug, solanezumab. The drug was tested in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, but overall results released in August showed that the drug did not meet its goals of slowing cognitive decline and improving daily living.

However, further analysis of the trial data has revealed that those participants with mild Alzheimer’s did appear to benefit from the drug. When results from both trials were pooled together, those with mild Alzheimer’s showed a 34% reduction in cognitive decline when treated with solanezumab.

Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“We knew when the results of this trial were first announced that, despite the overall negative outcome, the drug did seem to show positive trends for some patients. The fact that the benefits appear to be for those people with mild forms of Alzheimer’s suggests that solanezumab may only have an effect when given early in the disease process.

“The drug aims to stop a protein called amyloid from building in the brain, but we know this can start to happen years before symptoms develop. Studies are being planned to test anti-amyloid drugs like solanezumab in people with Alzheimer’s who are not yet showing symptoms, and the results from these trials could be very interesting. It is vital that we continue to invest in research to understand Alzheimer’s and other dementias, not only to discover new targets for treatments, but to improve our ability to test them.”

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