Solanezumab fails to significantly slow cognitive decline – new data published

Written by Lauren Pulling, Senior Editor

In the much-anticipated follow-up from Eli Lilly and Company’s (IN, USA) EXPEDITION3 trail, data have published reporting that solanezumab did not significantly slow cognitive decline in patients with mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reports that 2129 patients with mild dementia due to AD participated in the double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase III multicenter trial. While some favorable outcomes were reported, the primary outcome measure, assessed with the AD Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale, was not met, with no statistically significant benefit observed compared with the placebo.

The paper concludes that solanezumab at a dose of 400 mg administered every 4 weeks in patients with mild AD did not significantly affect cognitive decline. However, the authors suggest that the drug may need to be administered in a higher dose or earlier in the disease course in order to be effective. Additional studies are ongoing, evaluating solanezumab in presymptomatic patients at risk of AD.

“Although we are disappointed that this particular drug did not prove successful, the field is benefiting from each study,” commented lead author Lawrence Honig, Columbia University Irving Medical Center (NY, USA). “There is hope that one of the newer ongoing studies may result in an effective treatment for slowing the course of AD.”

Find out more about the EXPEDITION3 solanezumab trial here

Source: Honig LS, Vellas B, Woodward M et al. Trial of solanezumab for mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. N. Engl. J. Med. 378, 321–330 (2018); http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2018/01/24/alzheimers-drug-targeting-soluble-amyloid-falls-short-large-clinical-trial/