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Alzheimer’s drug Solanezumab fails to slow cognitive decline in clinical study

PBR Staff Writer Published 25 January 2018

A study has demonstrated that Alzheimer’s drug, solanezumab, targeting amyloid plaques, did not significantly slow cognitive decline.

Eli Lilly has developed Solanezumab, which is a monoclonal antibody-based treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers have projected that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the development of a sticky protein known as beta-amyloid.

As per the amyloid hypothesis, the protein develops plaques in the brain that damage brain cells. Solanezumab has been designed to decrease the level of soluble amyloid molecules before accumulation.

The phase 3 multicenter, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial has recruited 2,129 patients with mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

The study is claimed to be the first major Alzheimer’s clinical trial to require molecular evidence of amyloid deposition in the brain for recruitment.

According to Columbia University Medical Center, the treatment did not show any significant benefit in the trial compared to placebo. It was revealed when measured with a cognitive test called the Alzheimer’s disease assessment scale.

Solanezumab is being assessed in presymptomatic patients at risk of Alzheimer’s disease in other studies ongoing at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).

Eli Lilly designed and funded the clinical study.

CUIMC neurology professor and lead author Dr 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.”


Image: Solanezumab is a monoclonal antibody-based Alzheimer’s drug designed to target soluble amyloid. Photo: courtesy of Columbia University Medical Center.