Alzheimer’s Drug Struggles in Trials

Alzheimers drug failed to meet main goals but did slow memory loss in some people

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Solanezumab is a new drug being tested with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients. The test results indicate that it failed to improve memory and daily function, but the drug did slow the rate of memory loss.

The results of two big trials were released by Eli Lilly, the maker of the drug.

When both of the trials were looked at together, they found that memory loss was slowed down for people taking the drug.

This was not the goal of the drug, so it is unclear if the drug will continue to be tested.

"Talk to your doctor about any memory problems."

People with AD often show a build-up of a protein called beta amyloid in their brains. The build-up is thought to get in the way of brain cell function. Solanezumab is designed to clear up beta amyloid plaques in the brain.

Eli Lilly released early results from two big phase 3 trials of solanezumab but did not release the full study details.

In both trials, more than 2,050 people with mild to moderate AD took either solanezumab or a placebo. People took the drug for 18 months.

The main goals for both studies were to see people get better scores on memory tests and to see people have better daily life function.

Solanezumab did not meet these goals in either of the two trials.

However, Eli Lilly researchers also combined the information from all the people in both studies. They found that solanezumab slowed the rate of memory loss.

Eli Lilly says that the fact that the drug slowed memory loss is promising. Whether or not solanezumab will undergo with more testing is not known.

These early results were published in a press release on August 24 by Eli Lilly.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 23, 2012
Last Updated:
August 28, 2012