Eli Lilly's experimental drug failed to slow loss of cognitive ability in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease in a large trial, shares tanked. Alicia Powell reports.
A new Alzheimer's drug from Eli Lilly failed in a large medical trial, tanking shares of the company. The drug - called solanezumab - failed to slow loss of cognitive ability in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease. That was a major setback for patients, investors, and the U.S. drugmaker. On its way down, Lilly's stock took the entire healthcare sector along for the ride. But shares of the company's competitors suffered the most. Among them, Biogen, which is developing a similar drug. And Axovant, a self-proclaimed "A Dementia Solutions Company." Based on the trial failure, Lilly said it would not seek U.S. approval of the drug for mild dementia. But it is being tested in patients who have not yet developed Alzheimer's symptoms, but who are prone to develop the disease in the future. Some analysts had said solanezumab, if approved, could eventually claim up to $10 billion in annual sales and boost Lilly's earnings for years to come.