Eli Lilly & Co announced earlier this week that their latest Alzheimer’s Disease solanezumab trial tests failed to register their intended results.
Eli Lily & Company is an Indianapolis, Indiana-based global pharmaceutical company and one of the world leaders in the domain.
The company, which is just one amongst the many to be searching for an Alzheimer’s Disease cure, has announced that its latest trial did not meet the expected results.
Back in 2013, Eli Lilly initiated a final step, Phase III Alzheimer’s Disease or AD case trial which meant to study the effects of solanezumab.
As the study was concluded, its results were a disappointment to both the company and the market in general.
Both specialists and analysts had been hoping for a successful result as it would have meant both a step forward in treating the disease and a new market area.
Dementia and its most common type, AD, are amongst the current leading causes of death and the only one of the top five diseases to not have a known cure or treatment.
The New England Journal of Medicine just recently released a study which shows that the United States spend up to $215 billion every year in treating AD patients.
The high costs are mostly determined by the need for nursing homes and their subsequent costs.
A solanezumab-based treatment would have marked a quite significant reduction of these costs and would have initiated a new market area.
Besides the finance and business-related drawbacks, the final study results also pose a more significant medical question.
Solanezumab is an injectable therapy which could be combined with already approved and existing AD medicines.
The drug works in the bloodstream as was designed to bind the beta amyloid protein. This later protein is believed to be amongst the chief factors which lead to the appearance of AD.
It is believed that amyloid leads to the formation of toxic plaques which could cause or advance the appearance of Alzheimer’s, the neurodegenerative disease.
The Eli Lilly Phase III trial involved and studied the effects of this therapy on about 2,100 patients. These were all suffering from mild to cognitive forms of AD.
As the randomized trial assigned both the solanezumab therapy and placebo medicine, the results were a disappointment.
According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale, the patients which received the therapy did not show a significant treatment result.
It was determined that the solanezumab registered similar results rates with those garnered by the placebo medicines.
This was a great disappointment as the aforementioned therapy was expected to offer a solution to the millions of worldwide sufferers.
Although an official number has not been disclosed, Eli Lilly is believed to have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the trial studies.
The company did declare that it will be taking, in connection with the failed trial tests, a $150 million write-down.
Eli Lilly’s trial also pointed out that the amyloid plaques theory may also not be the correct direction to follow.
As such, the medical and financial failure of the solanezumab therapy may help point researchers in the right direction. Just for 2016, the United States federal government will have spent an approximated $991 million on basic AD research.
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