In the two pivotal Phase III studies of the drug, investigators determined that there was a noticeable effect on the level of beta amyloid found in patients' blood, suggesting that solanezumab had reduced levels of the toxic protein in the brain.
The Alzheimer's drug bapineuzumab failed miserably in one of the biggest Phase III studies of the year. But the drug--once a megablockbuster hopeful at Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer--had an impact on key biomarkers for the disease, leading investigators to urge a major new effort to see if the drug could work to delay the onset of the memory-wasting affliction.
Researchers say they've made preclinical progress on a tantalizingly simple approach to fighting Alzheimer's disease. By eliminating a single enzyme in symptomatic mice, they drastically reduced the amount of plaque that is a hallmark of the disease's advance. And the rodents' cognitive abilities improved as a result.
Alzheimer's disease research is at a pivotal point. Researchers are turning away from diagnosed groups and starting to move upstream, anxious to see if new therapies can prevent the disease from occurring or if very early-stage Alzheimer's patients might respond.
A major collapse in the Alzheimer's drug world generated buzz around the pharma industry about what comes next. Eli Lilly, of course, stands alone with a late-stage drug for slowing progression of the memory-thieving illness, now that Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson threw in the towel Monday on a Phase III program for their blockbuster contender bapineuzumab or "bapi."
Irish drugmaker Elan fell hard on news that partner Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer have iced a late-stage program to develop its experimental Alzheimer's drug bapineuzumab. And the key program's collapse revived speculation about the future of the pharma group with CEO Kelly Martin expected to leave and ongoing buzz about a potential sale of the company.
Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson have nixed development of one of the most closely watched drugs in their pipelines, bapineuzumab, after two Phase III clinical trials for the experimental Alzheimer's therapy ended in failure.
While combing through the DNA of 1,795 Icelanders, scientists identified a rare gene mutation that appears to protect people from getting Alzheimer's by slowing production of beta amyloid in the brain. Details are published in the journal Nature, and publications from The New York Times to Bio-IT World have written pretty detailed stories looking at the discovery and its implications for drug discovery.
The biotech announced this morning that it will use its expertise in developing disease models using induced pluripotent stem cells to pursue two new antibody programs targeting the Tau protein and the Complement pathway, routes that could lead to new therapies for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative ailments.
Investigators will test the drug in a region of Colombia where a particular genetic mutation is known to trigger the early onset of Alzheimer's.