Eli Lilly and Company Last Hope for Alzheimer's Drug as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc. Pull Out

Published: Aug 08, 2012

For millions of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, an experimental drug from Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) may now be their last hope for treatment. Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) pulled the plug Aug. 6 on their joint development of a similar Alzheimer’s therapy, after that drug failed to show any benefit in two late-stage studies. Lilly has said it will release its findings by the end of September. The stakes are high both for the 5.4 million people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and for Lilly. There are no medicines on the market that slow the progression of the disease, the most common form of dementia. If Lilly’s drug proves a success, treatments could begin as early as next year and the Indianapolis-based company could realize billions of dollars in revenue. Still, company executives have warned that a successful outcome for the drug, solanezumab, is a long shot.

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