Lilly and Its Big Alzheimer's Bet Is a Mixed Bag


"One Wall Street analyst posited that the results will be seen, overall, in a positive context due to misunderstandings about the Lilly compound and the approach for treating Alzheimer's with this particular type of treatment, which is a monoclonal antibody."


Pharmalot, Ed Silverman

After years of anticipation and growing skepticism, Eli Lilly has disclosed that an Alzheimer’s medication failed to meet the primary endpoints, both cognitive and functional, in a pair of phase 3 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Although disappointing, the outcome was actually mixed, but may still renew questions about the future for Lilly as it grapples with its commitment to Alzheimer's research.

For the past few years, Lilly CEO John Lechleiter has repeatedly acknowledged that the drug maker was placing a big bet on Alzheimer's compounds under the guise that the high-risk, high-reward scenario might help compensate for the crushing loss of revenue as several big-selling medicines lost patent protection and began facing generic competition. Now, though, that theory may be tested and perhaps revive calls for him to rethink his reluctance to mergers.

Lilly, however, noted that a pre-specified secondary analysis of pooled data showed statistically significant slowing of cognitive decline in patients with mild-to-moderate disease who were treated with its solanezumab compound. . .View Full Article

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