Pharma major Eli Lilly & Co.(NYSE:LLY) has sown that use of its experimental Alzheimer's drug, Solanezumab, may modestly slow down mental declines, especially in those patients who have a milder form of the disease or are in the initial stages.
It required the combined results of two studies to arrive at this conclusion. Taken separately, studies on the drug show that it missed the main goals of slowing down the disease or improving activities.
But when the two results were combined there was a significant 4 percent less mental decline in mild Alzheimer's patients compared to those who were on a placebo treatment for 18 months.
After the results of the studies were made public at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association, shares in Eli Lilly rose to four-year highs. The stock soared 5.3 percent to $50.78 on Monday taking its total gains to 19 percent since August when it had described the results in general terms.
“It’s certainly not the home run we all wanted, but we’re very encouraged by these results,” said Maria C. Carrillo, senior director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association, which had no role in the research.
The drug Solanezumab, which is still under trials, aims to bind to and help clear the sticky deposits that clog patients’ brains.
The two studies each had about 1,000 patients, about two-thirds with mild disease and one-third with moderately severe Alzheimer’s, in 16 countries. Their average age was 75.
Eli Lilly said that it would soon be seeking to file the drug for FDA approval.
Shares of LLY surged 5.30% to $50.78 and made multi-year high of $50.94. Shares rose another 4.21% to $52.87 in early trade on Tuesday.