That drug failed to help patients in two late-stage studies announced last month, but did show signs of hitting its target and clearing deposits from the brain.
The Lilly drug seems to be safer, and that is an advantage, said Dr. Norman Relkin, head of a memory disorders program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
"There is some cause for encouragement here. It's not the magnitude we'd like to see" but certainly warrants further studies on the drug, he said.
Relkin heads testing of the third drug in late-stage development — Gammagard, by Baxter International Inc. Results are expected early next year.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eric Siemers, senior medical director for Lilly, said the company will discuss its results and next steps with the Food and Drug Administration.
Lilly shares closed up $2.55, or 5.3 percent, to $50.78. During the day they peaked at $50.94, their highest price since April 2008. (This is also their highest closing price since that month.) The shares are up 19.8 percent since August 24.
Alzheimer's info: http://www.alzheimers.gov
Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org
Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP
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