Alzheimer drug solanezumab shows promise in mild cases

BOSTON — Combined results from two studies of an experimental Alzheimer's drug suggest it might modestly slow mental decline, especially in patients with mild disease.

Taken separately, the studies missed their main goals to significantly slow the mind-robbing disease. But pooled results found 34 percent less decline in mild Alzheimer's patients compared to those on a dummy treatment for 18 months.

Doctors say the results do not seem strong enough to win approval of the drug now. But they show researchers are on the right track by trying to clear the sticky deposits that clog patients' brains.

The drug is being developed by Eli Lilly & Co. and is called solanezumab. Results were reported Monday at an American Neurological Association conference in Boston.

About 35 million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer's is the most common type. In the U.S., about 5 million have Alzheimer's. Medicines such as Aricept and Namenda just temporarily ease symptoms. There is no known cure.

Solanezumab is one of three drugs in late-stage testing that seek to alter the course of Alzheimer's. The two studies each had about 1,000 patients, about two-thirds with mild disease and one-third with moderately severe Alzheimer's, in 16 countries. Their average age was 75.


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK