Eli Lilly drug slowed Alzheimer's progression 32%, study shows

Eli Lilly's drug, donanemab, slowed the progression of Alzheimer's disease by 32 percent over 18 months in a study published March 13 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, which consisted of 257 patients with early Alzheimer's disease, also showed that the drug completely removed an Alzheimer's-associated protein from the brains of 68 percent of patients after 18 months. The drug slowed the disease's progression by 32 percent on a measure of cognition and function as compared to a placebo. 

"I have been in this field a long time. This is some of the best phase 2 data I have seen, hands down," Marwan Sabbagh, director of translational research at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, told Bloomberg

Eli Lilly's chief scientific officer, Daniel Skovronsky, told Bloomberg that the patients in the clinical trial were treated as an oncologist would treat cancer patients. Researchers picked patients to study who were affected enough by the disease to show a benefit if the drug worked, he said, according to Bloomberg

It's unknown if the benefits of the drug will last. 

Read Eli Lilly's full news release here

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