Lilly Alzheimer drug helped patients in small trial

Eli Lilly reports that its experimental Alzheimer drug, donanemab, demonstrated a benefit in trial participants who received it compared with those given a placebo. The Phase II study involved 272 enrollees still in the early stages of disease.

Eli Lilly reports that its experimental Alzheimer drug, donanemab, demonstrated a benefit in trial participants who received it compared with those given a placebo. The Phase II study involved 272 enrollees still in the early stages of disease. Patients exposed to the intervention, which targets amyloid protein deposits that build up in the brains of affected individuals, experienced a 32% deceleration in memory decline and impaired ability to perform routine daily activities at 18-month followup. Lilly is already recruiting volunteers for a larger-scale trial to validate the results. If the findings bear out, it may signal a turn in the tide of Alzheimer research, which has been frustrated by one shortcoming after another. Having a drug that at least slows the effects of Alzheimer, if not preventing them, would be considered a victory in the fight against the disease. "It's a big moment for Alzheimer's patients," declared Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly's chief scientific officer. "There's hope again."