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AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly partner for another Alzheimer's drug

PBR Staff Writer Published 12 December 2016

Pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly are expanding their collaboration to develop an experimental Alzheimer's drug.

The companies signed a worldwide agreement to co-develop MEDI1814, an antibody selective for amyloid-beta 42 (Aβ42), which is presently in phase I trials.

The deal builds on the existing collaboration associated to AZD3293, a BACE inhibitor in two pivotal phase 3 trials.

MEDI1814 binds selectively to Aβ42, a form of Aβ which is especially associated with the disease, in order to reduce levels of this peptide, possibly slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Lilly agreed to make a $30m upfront payment to AstraZeneca, as a charge to earnings in the fourth quarter of this year.

AstraZeneca executive vice president of IMED biotech unit and business development Mene Pangalos said: “MEDI1814 has a unique mechanism among antibodies in clinical development and could provide a distinct approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease.”

The announcement of the agreement coincides with Lilly separately reporting detailed results from the earlierdisclosed failed phase III Expedition3 study with its own anti-amyloid-beta (Aβ) monoclonal antibody AD candidate, solanezumab.

The detailed results have been presented at the 9th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's Disease meeting.

Solanezumab did not meet the primary endpoint in the trial. Lilly said it will not make regulatory submissions for candidate to treat mild dementia due to AD.

Lilly said while the study results, including several secondary clinical endpoints, directionally favored solanezumab, the magnitudes of treatment differences were small.

Image: AstraZeneca Research and Development. Photo: courtesy of AstraZeneca.