By the end of next month, people with Alzheimer’s disease will learn whether an experimental drug can halt the progression of their ailment, or if it is a failure like a similar medication that Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson were testing.
Drug maker Eli Lilly has told analysts that it will report on the status of its trials of solanezumab at the end of September, according to Bloomberg News. And this drug is now essentially the last man standing for near-term potential treatments for Alzheimer’s, in the wake of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson announcing earlier this week that they were suspending their joint late-stage trials of bapineuzumab.
Solanezumab and bapineuzumab both act in the same manner: They were meant to prevent the over-production of plaque in the brain, which is believed to be the cause of Alzheimer’s.
Right now there are no drugs that either prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s or cure it. Eli Lilly has been developing solanezumab for more than 10 years and spent an estimated $1 billion on R&D on it, according to Bloomberg.
The drug could be a boon for the 5.4 million in the United States with Alzheimer’s, and if the trial results are successful solanezumab could be on the market by next year, Bloomberg reported. Its success would translate to billions of dollars of revenue for Eli Lilly.
But Eli Lilly officials have been cautious about their expectations for the drug, calling it “a risky bet,” according to Bloomberg.