The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

October 9, 2012

Alzheimer drug shows some promise in mild disease

BOSTON — Combined results from two studies of an experimental Alzheimer’s drug suggest it might modestly slow mental decline, especially in patients with mild disease.

Taken separately, the studies on the drug — Eli Lilly & Co.’s solanezumab — missed their main goals of significantly slowing the mind-robbing disease or improving activities of daily living. But pooled results found 34 percent less mental decline in mild Alzheimer’s patients compared to those on a fake treatment for 18 months.

Doctors called the results encouraging although probably not good enough to win approval of the drug now, without another study. Investors were more enthused, driving Lilly’s stock up about 5 percent Monday and about 19 percent since August.

Detailed results were revealed for the first time Monday at an American Neurological Association conference in Boston.

“It’s certainly not the home run we all wanted, but we’re very encouraged by these results,” said Maria Carillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dr. Stephen Salloway, an Alzheimer’s expert at Brown University, agreed.

“It’s exciting to see that there may be clinical benefit,” he said, but it is modest and may not make a difference in how well patients live — what matters most to them and their families.

About 35 million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer’s is the most common type. In the U.S., about five million have Alzheimer’s. Current medicines such as Aricept and Namenda just temporarily ease symptoms. There is no known cure.

Solanezumab is one of three drugs in late-stage testing that seek to alter the course of the disease. Results on one drug were disappointing, and results of the other won’t be ready until early next year.

Solanezumab 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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Traps set in New Jersey lake while animal control searches for snake

    JEFFERSON, N.J. — Reports of a 16-foot-long exotic snake — possibly an anaconda — slithering through New Jersey’s largest lake have stoked fears among residents and led to searches and questions about what exactly is in the water....

    July 23, 2014

  • Airlines cancel air traffic after rocket attack

    JERUSALEM — A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Remains of victims from Malaysian airliner crash transported by train to Ukrainian controlled territory

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner reached Ukrainian government-held territory at long last Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Contrarian’s case: Why the U.S. could be dragged down by struggling world economies?

    NEW YORK — Just as the U.S. economy is strengthening, other countries are threatening to drag it down....

    July 23, 2014

  • Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday....

    July 23, 2014

  • Obama nominee pledges to ‘transform’ VA

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs pledged Tuesday to transform the beleaguered agency, saying that “systematic failures” must be addressed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Friend is first convicted in Boston Marathon probe

    BOSTON — The conviction of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for impeding the investigation into the bombings has his lawyers wondering if anyone else who faces charges connected to the 2013 attack stands a ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014