June 14 2013 | By Márcio Barra
Eli Lilly released yesterday a press release were it stated it decided to discontinue a phase II study for an Alzheimer’s disease medicine, after concerns over patients safety.
The medicine in question, LY2886721 a beta-secretase (BACE) inhibitor, was being investigated as a once daily treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-secretase is a major protease in the processing of amyloid precursor protein leading to the production of amyloid-β. It is assumed an excess level of amyloid-β in the brain over a long time period is a leading factor in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease, and as such it is one of the leading treatment hypothesis, alongside Tau protein, despite Bapineuzumab’s 2012 failure.
The decision to terminate the phase II study was due to abnormal liver biochemical tests in patients. In the press release, Lilly states it believes that the abnormal liver biochemical tests observed in the study weren’t related to BACE inhibition. No reasons for the abnormal liver biochemical tests were provided.
Lilly will further evaluate this data prior to determining next steps for the LY2886721 clinical development program.