Roche, Lilly Alzheimer’s drugs chosen for worldwide clinical study

Hannah Blake


Three experimental Alzheimer’s drugs have been chosen for a worldwide clinical study by the Washington University in St. Louis, US. The aim of the study is to determine whether these drugs can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The pioneering trial is expected to begin in early 2013 and initially will test three promising drugs, each designed to target Alzheimer’s in different ways. The drugs chosen are gantenerumab (an antibody made by Roche), solanezumab and a beta-secretase inhibitor (both made by Eli Lilly). The trial is supported by a US $4.2 million grant from the Alzheimer’s Association, plus Roche and Lilly have agreed to make the treatments available at no cost to the investigators.

The study will seek to identify whether the drugs can improve Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers and effectively prevent the loss of cognitive function, in people with inherited mutations that cause early-onset Alzheimer’s. The clinical trials will involve 160 people who have inherited mutations that mean they are almost certain to develop Alzheimer’s at a young age, typically in their 30s, 40s or 50s.

“This trial is the result of a groundbreaking collaboration between academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and patient advocacy groups, with key support from regulatory groups. We are excited that this diverse portfolio of drugs and approaches will accelerate the discovery of an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s.”

Principal investigator Randall Bateman, MD and Joanne Knight, Distinguished Professor in Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

This new trial is planned to last for two years, but will be expanded and extended if one or more of the drugs are effective in slowing or stopping indicators of presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.

“Roche is honored that gantenerumab was selected by DIAN to be a part of this groundbreaking Alzheimer’s disease study. This clinical test supports Roche’s commitment to provide earlier treatment options to those at risk for this devastating disease.”

Luca Santarelli, head of Roche Neurosciences.




Related news:

Roche, Lilly drugs set for Alzheimer’s prevention trial (Reuters)

Three Drugs to Be Tested to Stave Off Alzheimer’s (The New York Times)

Reference links:

Washington University press release

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