Eli Lilly annouced that its closely watched latestage trial for solanezumab, an experimental Alzheimer’s disease treatment, failed.
The disappointing outcome revives doubts about an entire branch of Alzheimer’s research that has dominated the industry’s efforts in the past decade. Lilly and other companies have developed drugs that try to stop the buildup of a sticky protein in the brain known as beta amyloid-believed by many to be the primary culprit in the disease. But none of these drugs has worked in a major patient study, and Lilly’s failure could accelerate the pursuit of different research strategies.
Lilly shares fell 11% in Wednesday trading. Rivals with similar drugs in their research pipelines also sold off sharply.