New data from Eli Lilly shows that if used early enough, its experimental drug, solanezumab, slows down symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Bobbi Rebell reports.
New and encouraging data in the fight to combat the memory-robbing disease - Alzheimer's. Eli Lilly presented follow-up data from two large trials of the experimental drug, solanezumab, on Wednesday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington. While previous trials that also included moderate cases were not effective, when Lilly analyzed the results for mild patients, it suggested solanezumab caused a significant 34 percent slowdown in mental decline, and an 18 percent slowdown in loss of functional abilities compared to a placebo. Dr. William Thies is the Senior Scientist in Residence at the Alzheimer's Association SOUNDBITE: DR. WILLIAM H. THIES, PH.D., SENIOR SCIENTIST IN RESIDENCE, ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This is important because we are now getting a longer history with this drug. It's important that there was no safety signal. There were no additional side effects. It's important because it showed a continued effect of the drug, so the effects aren't transient. They aren't temporary. And it showed that people were willing to tolerate the administration of this medication, which is given by injection." The drug works by blocking formation of a protein called beta amyloid believed to cause toxic brain plaques that are considered a hallmark of Alzheimer's. Eli Lilly shares have jumped 24 percent so far this year, compared with average 12 percent gains for other large drug-makers, largely on faith in the drug.