A major Alzheimer's Disease drug test has failed, and now people are left wondering if there is any hope for curing the disease. Solanezumab was supposed to cure mild dementia. But, the drug did not have any effect on patients.
Patients who were a part of the drug test did not show any improvement on solanezumab. When compared to those on a placebo aka dummy drug, these patients did not show any sign of slowing in cognitive decline. This comes as disappointing as the drug showed much promise during the earlier trial last year.
EXPEDITION3, the phase 3 trial, involved more than 2,000 patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Solanezumab tried building up amyloid protein to form sticky plaques in a patient's brain. If such plaques are formed between neurons, it is believed that it may lead to brain damage, as well as brain cell death.
Having an Alzheimer's Disease drug is critical now, as the disease has become the leading cause of death. While people are wondering if there is going to be a cure for the disease, there are a number of amyloid-clearance drugs on trial. However, the most promising drug - solanezumab - has now failed. Eli Lilly's shares were down 14% on Wednesday before markets opened, Business Insider reported.
"The results of the solanezumab EXPEDITION3 trial were not what we had hoped for and we are disappointed for the millions of people waiting for a potential disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer's disease." The BBC quoted John Lechleiter, the chief executive of Eli Lilly, as saying.
According to Prof Nick Fox, the director of the Dementia Research Centre, this comes as a setback. While it is disappointing, he says there are other drugs on trial that show greater promise than this Alzheimer's Disease drug.
Prof Peter Roberts from the University of Bristol is, however, not surprised that solanezumab failed. He believes the problem is totally fundamental.
"There is still no convincing evidence that shows a clear relationship between amyloid deposition and deficits in cognition in humans," he said.