Healthcare Business

Alzheimer's Drug Shows Some Success (LLY, PFE, ELN)

Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) announced this morning that the company’s solanezumab treatment for Alzheimer’s disease failed to meet both the cognitive and functional endpoints in recently completed phase 3 double-blind trials. The Eli Lilly trials did yield some success though:

[A] pre-specified secondary analysis of pooled data across both trials showed statistically significant slowing of cognitive decline in the overall study population of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, pre-specified secondary subgroup analyses of pooled data across both studies showed a statistically significant slowing of cognitive decline in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, but not in patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

About a month ago, rivals Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Elan Corp. PLC (NYSE: ELN) said that their jointly developed Alzheimer’s treatment, bapineuzumab, had failed late-stage trials.

The company’s CEO/chairman/president said:

We recognize that the solanezumab studies did not meet their primary endpoints, but we are encouraged by the pooled data that appear to show a slowing of cognitive decline. We intend to discuss these data with regulatory authorities to gain their insights on potential next steps.

Eli Lilly’s shares are up about 5% in premarket trading this morning, at $44.50 in a 52-week range of $34.94 to $44.67.

Paul Ausick

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