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Published: Thu, November 24, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Alzheimer's drug fails in latest study


The difference between the two numbers was $-0.08 which resulted in a surprise factor of -8.33%.

Alzheimer's drugs have a failure rate of more than 99 percent.

Dementia due to Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

"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".

With Lilly's drug sidelined, Alzheimer's researchers will turn their attention to Merck, which is expected to present data in June on a drug that takes an upstream approach to amyloid.

Solanezumab was going after the "amyloid hypothesis", or the idea that targeting beta amyloid deposits in the brain to clear them out is the way to go about treating the disease.

Wheatland Advisors Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Eli Lilly and Co.

Several other companies are also testing drugs created to clear amyloid from the brain in late-stage trials, including Biogen, Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Merck.

Lilly shares had plummeted about 13 percent in midmorning trading, even as analysts said they had low hopes for solanezumab, a drug created to slow the progression of the neurodegenerative disease that affects 47 million people. "(Lilly) never seemed to have a great answer for why they picked the solanezumab dose they did".

Eli Lilly and Company discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells products in one significant business segment -pharmaceutical products.

In Phase 2 clinical trials, 29 out of 33 patients (88%) reached 40 mg/day of donepezil (maximum dose allowed), without experiencing dose-limiting adverse events.

Solanezumab was tested in people with mild dementia after two previous trials showed it did not help those further along, with moderate Alzheimer's.

"I think we really need to have the experts in the field sort of process this data and draw their own conclusions", Ricks told CNBC.

Healthcare stocks, like other sectors, had been hitting record highs in the wake of the presidential election.

Some analysts had said solanezumab, if approved, could eventually claim up to US$10 billion in annual sales and boost Lilly's earnings for years to come. Based on these results, the company not surprisingly will not file for approval. Biogen, which is also studying a treatment for the disease, sank $12.44, or 3.9 per cent, to $305.67.

Now available treatments treat symptoms of the fatal disease but do not slow or stop its progression.

The dementia-causing disease has grown into the sixth-biggest cause of death in the USA, killing about 700,000 people annually, and is the only fatal condition among the top 10 in the US that can not be prevented, cured or slowed, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the USA and the only one without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Eli Lilly's gamble on amyloid-busting drug solanezumab for mild Alzheimer's has failed, and the drugmaker has made the painful decision to abandon the drug.

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