WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Following today's announcement that Eli Lilly's drug that would slow memory loss in people with mild cases of Alzheimer's disease failed Phase III clinical trials, UsAgainstAlzheimer's emphasizes that while this news is a setback for the millions of people around the world with dementia, the pipeline could see more successful results in the near future.
In light of the urgency surrounding the critical need to deliver a treatment for a disease that has no cure and is the third leading cause of death in the United States, UsAgainstAlzheimer's is escalating its calls to action to increase research funding for Alzheimer's disease and dementias and develop a stronger and faster clinical trial infrastructure.
"While the news today is not what any of us wanted to hear, we want to offer our heartfelt appreciation to the entire Lilly team, including the tens of thousands researchers and clinical trials coordinators, in its steadfast commitment, leadership and unwavering resolve to work to vanquish this complex disease," said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer's co-founder and chairman. "We have the utmost gratitude to the 4,000 clinical trials participants and their families, and we are more focused than ever to sustain this fight. The first person to be cured of Alzheimer's is someone who will have been in a clinical trial, and we must continue to engage more people to actively participate in clinical research. Today we grieve; tomorrow we renew the fight."
While today's Alzheimer's disease drug pipeline has been marred by more than a decade of high failure rates, due to the complex nature of Alzheimer's, as well as public underinvestment in research, every step in the process – even a setback – brings us closer to a cure.
"Holidays are the hardest for millions of Alzheimer's families as we try to make memories we know won't last the moment. But the faith we placed in the researchers and global Alzheimer's disease team at Lilly remains unabated, despite the outcome of the EXPEDITION3 clinical trial. We have watched them work tirelessly with great integrity, tenacity and transparency," said Meryl Comer, UsAgainstAlzheimer's board member, author of "Slow Dancing With A Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's" and President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative. "Winning the battle against Alzheimer's is bigger than any one company and asks all of us to share our health data and participate in clinical research."
Despite today's results, there is hope, as there are more promising innovations on the horizon. An analysis of the Phase III Alzheimer's drug pipeline, conducted by ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer's (RA2), shows that there are now 22 Alzheimer's drugs in Phase III clinical trials, 18 of which may be on track to launch in the next five years. According to the analysis, a diverse pipeline requires a standing, high-performance clinical trial infrastructure that allows for rapid testing and, thus, fast failure or success.
UsAgainstAlzheimer's will continue to work zealously for people living with Alzheimer's and other dementias, and their caregivers, so that a means to prevent, slow and stop Alzheimer's becomes a reality.
UsAgainstAlzheimer's is an innovative non-profit organization demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer's. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer's presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through effective leadership, collaborative advocacy, and strategic investments.
Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer's has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025 and help secure nearly $500 million in additional public funding for Alzheimer's research over the past few years; (2) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world's most powerful nations, the G7 group, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; and (3) forge industry commitments to improve efficiencies for an expedited drug discovery and approval process.
Contact: Tim Tassa