clear
Tuesday December 12th, 2017 10:20PM

Another failure in search for treatment to slow Alzheimer's

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An experimental treatment for Alzheimer's failed again in a widely anticipated study, disappointing many who had hoped drugmaker Eli Lilly had finally found a way to slow the progression of the mind-robbing disease.

The drug did not work better than a placebo treatment in a study of more than 2,100 people with mild Alzheimer's, the company announced Wednesday.

"We're incredibly saddened by the news," said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Association, who was not involved in Lilly's research. "There was a lot of hope for this avenue, this approach."

Alzheimer's experts had modest expectations for the drug, called solanezumab (sohl-ah-NAYZ'-uh-mab). It had already failed in two large studies in people with mild-to-moderate forms of the disease. Combined results, however, suggested that the drug might work for those with the mildest symptoms.

Lilly started another study, testing monthly infusions of the drug for 18 months in those patients.

The drug binds to a protein called amyloid that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The drug clears the protein from the brain before it can clump together to form a sticky plaque between nerve cells. Researchers think the protein triggers the degenerative disease, which impairs memory and thought.

Amyloid still plays some role, and it's premature to abandon the notion of targeting it, said a specialist who has led many previous failed Alzheimer's drug studies.

"When you get a result like this you have to question, is it the stage of the disease, is it the particular drug you are testing, or is it some combination? Or is the strategy wrong?" said Dr. Stephen Salloway, neurology chief at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. "We don't know the answer."

Lilly's drug is still being studied in two other major tests. One involves patients with a rare, inherited form of Alzheimer's, and the other is a prevention trial of people who have no symptoms but have deposits of amyloid in their brain as seen on scans.

At least 18 other drugs are in late-stage testing, including several similar to solanezumab. Dietary therapies, supplements and even a medical device also are being tried.

"There are other approaches that we need to pursue," Carrillo said. "We need to redouble our efforts."

Scientists say the search for a better Alzheimer's treatment presents several problems. They also believe changes in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's begin many years before the patient shows symptoms. That means that by the time diagnosis happens, the brain may be essentially too damaged for potential treatments to work.

Lilly has spent about $3 billion over the past 27 years on Alzheimer's research. One of the drugmaker's researchers, Dr. Eric Siemers, said the latest results were a "bump in the road," and scientists are looking forward to learning more from the results of other potential treatments.

"We're continuing to go forward, it's just not as fast as we would like," said Siemers.

With more than 5 million people in the United States afflicted, Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. There's no known way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.

Current treatments on the market, like Aricept and Namenda, only temporarily ease symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and agitation.

Alzheimer's patients typically live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable, during which the disease gradually erodes their memory and ability to think or perform simple tasks.

Wall Street analysts had given Lilly's drug relatively low odds of success. Even so, shares of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. plunged more than 10 percent, or $8.02, to $67.97 Wednesday afternoon. Shares of other drugmakers researching Alzheimer's treatments, like Biogen Inc., also sank in early trading.

___

AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Health, AP Business, AP Health - Senior Health, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US states, leery of Russia malware, re-examine cybersecurity
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
8:57PM ( 9 months ago )
States re-examine cybersecurity after Russia accused of hack
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
6:37PM ( 9 months ago )
Silent march through downtown Chicago marks year of violence
Hundreds of people carrying crosses for each person slain in Chicago this year have marched quietly along Michigan Avenue
6:10PM ( 9 months ago )
U.S. News
Revelers say goodbye to a year of conflicts, deadly violence
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and celebrity deaths
11:58PM ( 9 months ago )
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson, The Rematch
11:31PM ( 9 months ago )
With Ohio State shutout, Clemson earns another shot at 'Bama
Clemson's redemption: By shutting out Ohio State, the Tigers earn another shot at 'Bama
11:25PM ( 9 months ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump says he doesn't trust computers as he rings in 2017
President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private
10:46PM ( 9 months ago )
New UN chief wants consensus but faces antagonistic Trump
Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk
9:39PM ( 9 months ago )
Revelers say goodbye to a year of deadly violence, conflicts
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and deaths of legendary celebrities
9:10PM ( 9 months ago )
AP National News
Rural New Mexico exports mentoring model for physicians
A mentoring program for physicians in rural areas is being tapped by the federal government to expand access to specialized care
1:41PM ( 9 months ago )
Divers assembled in search for missing plane with 6 aboard
A dive team has been assembled in Cleveland to begin recovery efforts for a small plane that disappeared over Lake Erie near Cleveland's shores carrying six people
12:42PM ( 9 months ago )
Texas judge takes specialized court for veterans on the road
A Texas judge is doing something novel in the relatively new world of courts designed specifically for military veterans
11:06AM ( 9 months ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' defense, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers will meet next week to forge a common strategy to stop Republicans from destroying his signature health care law
2:43PM ( 9 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' huddle, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama will strategize next week with Democratic lawmakers about how to prevent Republicans from destroying his Affordable Care Act
1:36PM ( 9 months ago )
Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth visit patients at kids hospital
Miley Cyrus and her fiancee, Liam Hemsworth, have brought some holiday cheer to patients at a San Diego children's hospital
12:20PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Health
Long gas lines, price hike mar holiday season in Mexico
The holidays have been a little less merry for car owners in Mexico as gasoline shortages have grumbling customers dealing with hours-long lines
6:29PM ( 9 months ago )
A Kink, former Spice Girl and Vogue editor to get honors
Queen Elizabeth II's New Year honors list focuses on sports stars, some luminaries of fashion and entertainment, and a heavy helping of researchers, doctors and volunteers who have worked behind-the-scenes to improve the quality of British life
2:24PM ( 9 months ago )
India's Modi defends decision to demonetize high-value bills
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended his government's decision to demonetize the country's highest-value currency bills last month in an unusual New Year's Eve message to the nation
1:58PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Business
Oklahoma to require restroom signs in anti-abortion effort
Oklahoma will force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services as part of an effort to reduce the number of abortions
3:57PM ( 10 months ago )
Oklahoma may require restroom signs in anti-abortion effort
Oklahoma will force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services as part of an effort to reduce the number of abortions
11:17AM ( 10 months ago )
Supreme Court leaves $1B NFL concussion settlement in place
The Supreme Court has rejected challenges to the estimated $1 billion plan by the NFL to settle thousands of concussion lawsuits filed by former players
8:42PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
US stocks end modestly lower on final trading day of 2016
Investors end a year of solid gains on Wall Street in a selling mood, sending the major U.S. stock indexes modestly lower in the final trading day of 2016
6:18PM ( 9 months ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Obama unleashes sanctions on Russia for election hacking; cease-fire in Syria appears to be holding; Serena Williams announces engagement to co-founder of Reddit.
7:40AM ( 9 months ago )
Benefits of Indian cash overhaul elusive as deadline passes
As the for exchanging rupee notes hit, it's unclear if India's vast campaign to overhaul most of its currency is having the desired results
7:38AM ( 9 months ago )
AP Business - Industries
US stocks inch higher in slow pre-holiday trading
US stock indexes move slightly higher in quiet trading ahead of the Christmas holiday
4:37PM ( 10 months ago )
Lawmaker says son's broken arm was bad health care example
A conservative GOP lawmaker says he "made a poor choice of words" when citing a decision to delay treatment of his son's broken arm to point out the benefits of a health care system in which consumers bear a greater share of out-of-pocket costs
10:30PM ( 10 months ago )
Not today: Dow still short of 20,000 as health stocks skid
US stocks finish slightly lower as drugmakers and other health care companies fall
4:27PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Emergency plan, food, gear vital for long-distance sailing
After two women were rescued from being adrift in the Pacific for months, experts warn newcomers to long-distance sailing to be as prepared as possible
3:11AM ( 5 hours ago )
Sailboat survivors recount doomed Pacific voyage
Trapped on a storm-battered boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for nearly six months, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava were almost out of food and beginning to believe they were out of luck when the U.S. Navy ship came to their rescue
3:06AM ( 5 hours ago )
Weirdness returns to Key West after Hurricane Irma
Things are weird in Key West, and that's a good thing for the Florida Keys economy.
1:14AM ( 7 hours ago )
Botulism pills, the CIA, the Mob and the JFK assassination
Files on John F. Kennedy's assassination are reviving eye-popping details on how intelligence agencies operated and what the government knew about the president's killer
12:04AM ( 8 hours ago )
Sharks and lost hope: 2 women rescued after 5 months at sea
Two women who were left adrift in the Pacific while sailing from Hawaii to Tahiti were rescued after a 5½-month ordeal
11:45PM ( 8 hours ago )