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Major Alzheimer’s drug fails in final clinical trials

A widely watched Alzheimer’s antibody drug failed to deliver in its final rounds of clinical trials, The Guardian reports. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced today that the drug, solanezumab, showed no significant improvements to memory compared with a placebo. The drug, administered through injections, was meant to target plaque buildup around neurons, a heavily studied sign of the disease, though not necessarily a main cause. Eli Lilly’s billion-dollar investment was criticized for raising public hope that treatment might finally be within reach. Last spring, that criticism grew stronger after the drug company scrapped a third trial measure, which was misconstrued by some as a last-ditch effort to force its success. For more on this latest setback, read Derek Lowe’s commentary on solanezumab at his blog In the Pipeline.