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Lilly Halts Development of Semagacestat for Alzheimer's Disease Based on Preliminary Results of Phase III Clinical Trials
Date:8/17/2010

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will halt development of semagacestat, a gamma secretase inhibitor being studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease, because preliminary results from two ongoing long-term Phase III studies showed it did not slow disease progression and was associated with worsening of clinical measures of cognition and the ability to perform activities of daily living.

The company's decision does not affect the ongoing clinical trials of solanezumab, Lilly's other compound in Phase III trials as a potential Alzheimer's treatment. While both drugs focus on amyloid-beta proteins, which are believed to play a critical role in Alzheimer's disease, they have different mechanisms of action. Lilly also has two other compounds in earlier stages of clinical development; those studies are not affected by today's announcement.

In two pivotal Phase III trials, semagacestat was compared with placebo in more than 2,600 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Lilly has now reviewed data from a pre-planned interim analysis of semagacestat studies. This interim analysis showed that, as expected, cognition and the ability to complete activities of daily living of placebo-treated patients worsened.  However, by these same measures, patients treated with semagacestat worsened to a statistically significantly greater degree than those treated with placebo. In addition, data showed semagacestat is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer compared with those who received placebo.

"This is disappointing news for the millions of Alzheimer's patients and their families worldwide who anxiously await a successful treatment for this devastating illness," said Jan M. Lundberg, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Science and Technology, and President, Lilly Research Laboratories. "This is a se
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