VIDEO + ARTICLE:
Solanezumab is a maturing experimental vaccine that dissolves Alzheimer’s plaque. Find out why neurologists are excited about its performance in Alzheimer’s and prevention trials.
Solanezumab is being tested in an advanced Phase 3 trial of mild Alzheimer’s. It is also in a prevention trial by the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network of people carrying early onset mutations in APP and presenilin.
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Solanezumab is an anti-beta-amyloid monoclonal antibody. In plainer English, it is an Alzheimer’s vaccine that works by dissolving the dangerous amounts of poisonous plaque that appear in the Alzheimer’s brain. (To better understand plaque’s role in Alzheimer’s, see the video "Incredible Alzheimer’s Plaque Animation.")
In a display of the buzz surrounding the progress of solanezumab, surveyed U.S. neurologists said they would prescribe Eli Lilly’s emerging solanezumab to 15% of their mild to moderate Alzheimer’s patients.1
Solanezumab has been through a number of trials where it helped, though it did not meet all expectations. The current trials are fine-tuning how it can help people with Alzheimer’s, as well as prevent Alzheimer’s in healthy people.
Interviewed thought leaders are encouraged by a slowing of cognitive decline observed in solanezumab-treated mild AD patients, pooled across two completed, placebo-controlled, Phase III studies, as well as the drug’s safety profile, particularly with regard to a low risk of amyloid-related imaging abnormalities.
A report from Decision Resources1 includes insights from a survey of U.S. managed care organization pharmacy directors, two-thirds of whom indicate they would reimburse a new disease-modifying therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate AD that was priced at a significant premium to current brands ($25/day), if such an agent offered a 200 percent improvement on cognitive decline over donepezil (Eisai/Pfizer’s Aricept, other brands, generics). Payers expecting not to cover such a therapy mostly cite insufficient benefits as the reason, suggesting that—for some payers—greater therapeutic gains would be needed to justify the value of a drug offered at such a considerable cost.
Filling an Unmet Need
Drugs offering a greater effect on cognition and those offering a greater effect on function compared with current treatments remain the top unmet needs in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, according to surveyed U.S. and European neurologists. Currently available therapies alleviate some cognitive and functional symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s over the short-term, but do not slow disease progression. This reality underscores the remaining unmet need for more efficacious alternatives, which could be either symptomatic or disease-modifying.
Decision Resources Senior Business Insights Analyst Alana Simorellis,
Ph.D., concluded that,
“With a new Phase III trial ongoing in mild AD, solanezumab retains
the potential to become the first disease-modifying therapy approved for
the treatment of this debilitating disease, a landmark achievement.”
1 Decision Resources: Decision Resources (www.decisionresources.com) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources Group company.
About Decision Resources Group: Decision Resources Group is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources Group at www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com.
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