Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Promise, Begins Phase III Trials


A third set of clinical trials to seek a drug to delay the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease is about to get underway, drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. said today.

The Indianapolis company will begin enrolling patients this month in two separate but identical Phase III clinical trials of Solanezumab, an antibody that may hold the key to preventing the disease that affects 5.3 million people in the United States alone.

Lilly also is in the process of testing out a different type of Alzheimer’s treatment, also geared to help those with the disease, which is known to cause dementia.

“Current therapies available to treat Alzheimer’s disease may help with symptoms, but they haven’t been proven to change the disease progression,” said Eric Siemers M.D., medical director for Lilly’s Alzheimer’s disease research, in a news release. “Biomarker results from a Phase II solanezumab trial give us hope that Lilly is on a path toward a treatment that may slow the rate of progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Lilly expects to enroll a total of 2,000 patients age 55 and over from 16 countries, including the U.S., in the Phase III “Expedition” trials.

Patients or caregivers interested in learning how to enroll in the Expedition trials (or a companion trial for a different treatment, known as “Identity” trials) should visit or call (877) 285-4559.

Photo credit: Sam Catchesides