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Lilly depression drug fails to meet goals in studies

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Eli Lilly and Co. will end development of the depression medicine edivoxetine as an add-on therapy after the drug failed to meet goals in three studies.

A current trial evaluating the experimental compound’s long-term effects will continue, the Indianapolis-based company said in a statement Thursday.

Edivoxetine, a derivative of Lilly's Strattera drug for attention deficit disorder, was in the final of three stages of testing usually required for marketing approval by U.S. regulators.

The end of edivoxetine as a potential add-on therapy is another research setback for Lilly, which has had a cancer treatment, ramucirumab, fail in breast cancer patients, and an experimental compound prove unsuccessful in helping people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Lilly has cut costs and put resources into diabetes therapies as the company prepares for a revenue decline next year when it loses patent protection on antidepressant drug Cymbalta and osteoporosis medicine Evista.

According to Reuters, industry analysts had been hoping edivoxetine, if approved, would reach annual sales in the $200 million range by 2016 and even more in future years.

Edivoxetine had been expected to generate $560 million by 2020, said Seamus Fernandez, an analyst with Leerink Swann & Co., who has an outperform rating on the stock. Sales at that level would have made the drug Lilly’s 10th-biggest product last year.

The decision to end the development as an add-on therapy will result in a pretax charge of $15 million, or 1 cent a share, in the fourth quarter, Lilly said. The company reaffirmed its 2013 forecasts and said it is still plans to return to revenue growth in 2015.

Lilly shares were up 18 cents Thursday morning, to $50.04 each.

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  • maybe 'cannabis'
    I would recommend Lilly trying a cannabis based drug for depression, as it would be cheaper for research and development, and usually guaranteed to work.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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