Alzheimer’s drug solanezumab fails in Columbia University’s trial

26th January 2018 (Last Updated January 26th, 2018 00:00)

Results from a Phase III clinical trial by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center in the US have shown that Eli Lilly's monoclonal antibody solanezumab has not significantly slowed cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Alzheimer’s drug solanezumab fails in Columbia University’s trial
Left: Negative PET scan, without Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Right: ‘Positive’ scan of patient eligible for solanezumab trial. Credit: Columbia University Medical Center.

Results from a Phase III clinical trial by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center in the US have shown that Eli Lilly's monoclonal antibody solanezumab has not significantly slowed cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Solanezumab has been designed to decrease the level of soluble amyloid molecules, which are reported to accumulate and damage the brain cells by forming plaques.

The multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III trial evaluated the drug candidate in 2,129 subjects having mild dementia caused due to Alzheimer’s.

According to results, the treatment had certain favourable effects measured using a cognitive test but failed to demonstrate a statistically significant impact when compared to placebo.

"There is hope that one of the newer ongoing studies may result in an effective treatment for slowing the course of Alzheimer’s disease."

While the researchers are not sure about the effectiveness of the treatment approach or solanezumab, they said that the drug dosage or administration at a late-stage of the disease might have potentially caused this shortfall.

Columbia University Medical Center neurology professor and study lead author Lawrence Honig said: “Although we are disappointed that this particular drug did not prove successful, the field is benefiting from each study.

“There is hope that one of the newer ongoing studies may result in an effective treatment for slowing the course of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Solanezumab is being further studied in different trials at the Columbia University Medical Center, as well as other organisations for the treatment of presymptomatic patients who are at-risk of this disease.