Eli Lilly Shares Slide After Alzheimer's Treatment Fails Clinical Trial

Eli Lilly said results from a multi-year trial of a key Alzheimer's drug failed to meet primary endpoint goals to slow the rate of progression of the degenerative brain disease.
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Eli Lilly  (LLY) - Get Report shares traded lower Monday after the drugmaker said a key Alzheimer's treatment failed to meet slow the rate of acceleration in patients affected by the degenerative brain disorder.

Eli Lilly said trial of solanezumab, a drug used to treat patients with, or who are at risk for, dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease failed to meet the primary endpoint set for the multi-year study, which was conducted with Switzerland's Roche. Eli Lilly said secondary endpoint studies are ongoing and noted that fuller results will be presented to the Advances in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Therapies focus meeting in April. 

"We are grateful to the courageous participants, their families, and clinical investigators for their dedication to the study. We look forward to the opportunity to analyze the data so that we may continue to propel the science forward and bring hope to these patients," said Eli Lilly's chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky. "Lilly is committed to finding treatments for patients and remains excited about the potential of our medicines under development in the area of Alzheimer's."  

Eli Lilly shares were marked 3.22% lower in early trading Monday to change hands at $141.88 each, a move that still leaves the stock with a six-month gain of around 25%. 

Alzheimer's disease, a progressive brain disorder, affects more than 50 million people around the world. To date, no drug has been found to address the disease, which can accelerate into dementia and other more serious cognitive conditions. 

Biogen shares rose to a 15-month high last week after analysts at RBC Capital Markets noted that a recent patent battle with Mylan over the generic use of multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera could be a good entry point for investors that see upside potential from the drugmaker's Alzxheimer's treatment, aducanumab.

"We are inspired by what the positive implications of the aducanumab data may mean for patients, physicians and the broader scientific community, who have been waiting decades for a therapy that can reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer's disease," Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos told investors on a conference call in late January. "We are actively engaging with the FDA as well as regulators in Europe and Japan, and we look forward to completing a regulatory filing in the US as soon as possible." 

"In addition, there has been important progress related to the redosing study, as we have successfully submitted the protocol to the FDA, and we are currently working with the sites and ethics committees toward study initiation," he added.