Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) said it stopped a mid-stage trial of an experimental Alzheimer’s drug attempting to mimic the effect of a rare genetic mutation that may protect against the disease.
Lilly ended the trial of the therapy, called LY2886721, after participants showed abnormal liver biochemistry, the Indianapolis-based company said today in a statement. The drug was in the second of three phases of clinical trials typically required before regulatory approval and was being tested in about 150 patients, the company said.
“Lilly will further evaluate this data prior to determining next steps for the entire LY2886721 clinical development program,” the company said.
The drug was in a category called beta secretase, or BACE, inhibitors. Merck & Co. (MRK) is developing a drug in the same class. The therapies help prevent the formation of plaque tangles in the brain called beta amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer’s.
The mechanism differs from that of a failed experimental therapy from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and one from Lilly that is still in development. Those drugs are designed to clear beta amyloid from the brain by binding directly to the protein.
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