Alzheimer's drug fails study but flashes potential
(AP)—An Alzheimer's treatment from Eli Lilly and Co. failed to slow memory decline in two separate patient studies, but the drug did show some potential to help in mild cases of the mind-robbing condition that is notoriously difficult to treat.
The Indianapolis drugmaker's announcement could be a step toward a long-awaited breakthrough in the fight against the disease. But researchers not tied to the studies—and Eli Lilly itself—cautioned against overreacting to the initial results.
Lilly said Friday that its treatment, solanezumab, failed to slow the rate of cognitive decline, which involves a person's ability to remember things, in two late-stage studies of about 1,000 patients each. But when data from the trials were combined, scientists saw a statistically significant slowing of that rate in the bigger population.
They also saw a statistically significant result when they examined a subgroup of patients with mild cases of Alzheimer's disease. The studies focused on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's cases.
Lilly officials would not discuss details of the results and said that they plan to talk with regulators about the next steps for the drug, which has yet to receive Food and Drug Administration approval. Full results from the studies will be presented at two scientific conferences in October. It's unclear how the FDA will view the results, given that the drug missed its main goals.
William H Thies, chief medical and scientific officer for the Alzheimer's Association, which was not involved in Lilly's research, said the statistical significance of the combined results is important.
"If that can be replicated, that is a major finding," he said. "It's the first time we've been able to change the course of Alzheimer's disease or any part of Alzheimer's disease in people."
But because the drug missed its main goals, Thies said the drug "isn't going to the (FDA) tomorrow to be approved for sale."
If you look through "rose-colored glasses" at the results, there may be a sign of potential benefit on cognitive tests, said Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. But it is not clear whether that is enough to make a real difference clinically in how patients do, he said.
The key will be details the company will present later on brain imaging and other tests, he said.
"The danger would be an over-interpretation of a small finding or a subtle effect," said Petersen, who heads a safety monitoring panel for two companies working on a different Alzheimer's treatment.
About 35 million people worldwide have dementia, a term for brain disorders that affect memory, judgment and other mental functions. Alzheimer's is the most common type. In the United States, more than 5 million people have Alzheimer's, which is the country's sixth-leading cause of death.
Many Alzheimer's patients typically live four to eight years after diagnosis, as the disease gradually erodes their memory and ability to think or perform simple tasks. Current Alzheimer's treatments only temporarily ease symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and agitation. They don't slow, stop or reverse mental decline.
Drugmakers have tried and failed for years to develop successful treatments for the disease, and patients and doctors are anxious for something that can slow the disease's progression. Analysts have said such a treatment, if approved, could be worth billions of dollars in sales.
AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Pfizer and J&J end development of Alzheimer's drug Aug 06, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Eli Lilly halts development of Alzheimer's drug Aug 17, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Lilly, Boehringer collaborate on diabetes drugs Jan 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Alzheimer's drug fails in 1 study, 2nd continues (Update) Jul 23, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Evidence lacking for efficacy of memantine in treating mild Alzheimer's disease Apr 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The World Health Organization says the Horn of Africa is experiencing an outbreak of polio with cases confirmed in Kenya and Somalia.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A man who had contracted the coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 17, the health ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients with underlying heart failure are more likely to experience adverse outcomes from mild hypothyroidism, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today (Thursday) in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely ...
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
3 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
6 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 2 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
An independent panel of experts on Wednesday recommended US approval of a new Merck sleeping pill called suvorexant, but expressed concerns over the highest dosage and risks of drowsy daytime driving.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0