Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Lilly promises solanezumab news in Alzheimer's 'before year-end'

If anti-amyloid drug proves effective, sales could reach $7.5bn according to analysts
Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly has enrolled the last patient in its EXPEDITION3 trial of beta amyloid-targeting antibody solanezumab, and says it should be ready to unveil the top-line result from the study in December.

If the results are positive it would represent a step forward in the treatment of Alzheimer's as well as a great parting gift for Lilly's chief executive John Lechleiter, who will retire at the end of the year after leading the company for eight years.

There is no doubt that given the huge number of anti-amyloid drugs that have failed in trials solanezumab is a high-risk project, but Lilly's CEO-in-waiting David Ricks said that while it is possible that the drug will perform no better than placebo, he considers that the "least probable outcome". The company hasn't seen any preliminary data from the trial however.

A win in the EXPEDITION3 trial could lead to rapid regulatory filings, said Ricks, and if approved could be a massive product for Lilly with analysts forecasting recently that sales could reach up to $7.5bn at peak.

Many scientists continue to believe that amyloid is the main pathogenic factor responsible for the degenerative changes that occur in the brain during Alzheimer's, and if solanezumab does show any efficacy, it would be the first drug to support that hypothesis in a late-stage trial.

Solanezumab failed to show a clear benefit in trials involving patients with more advanced Alzheimer's, but led to speculation that amyloid needs to be blocked early in the course of the disease in order to prevent the formation of plaques that seem to cause the neuronal damage that in turn leads to cognitive and memory decline.

The company recently began another phase III trial of solanezumab in prodromal (very early) Alzheimer's that will have 2,500 subjects when fully enrolled. Results from that trial are due in 2021. Ricks said that if EXPEDITION3 is a bust the prodromal trial will probably be abandoned.

The comments on solanezumab came during Lilly's third-quarter results call, in which it reported a sales increase of 5% to $5.2bn driven by new product launches.

Among these, diabetes drugs Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Jardiance (empagliflozin) both saw solid sales gains that did not however meet analysts' expectations, while lung cancer therapy Cyramza (ramucirumab) fell 12% thanks to competition from immuno-oncology rivals, Merck & Co's Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab).

Initial sales of Taltz (ixekizumab), which was approved by the FDA in March for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, were $33m. The interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitor is chasing Novartis' Cosentyx (secukinumab), which has the same mechanism of action and made $301m in the third quarter.

Article by
Phil Taylor

26th October 2016

From: Research, Sales

Share

Tags

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts

PMHub

Add my company
Frontera

Our higher purpose is to deliver better communication to increase and speed up the ability of patients to access better...

Latest intelligence

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Synergy Vision are supporting Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Bowel cancer is one of most common cancers diagnosed in the UK, but with early diagnosis and treatment, most cases can be...
Anthill_icon_Green_18_Dialogue.png
The right way to capture customer data
Digital communication should be a two-way process with information flowing backwards and forwards between you and healthcare professionals. That digital technology enables HCPs to give feedback is a big part...
Anthill_icon_Green_17_Multi-channel.png
Can you access your own content?
The rapid development of multichannel communication opens new opportunities to provide high-value experiences for healthcare professionals and gives you more places than ever to tell your product story. But unless...

Infographics