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Lilly shares rise on possibility for Alzheimer’s drug

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Eli Lilly and Co. stock rose to a one-month high Tuesday after an analyst said the possible success of the company’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug could double the share price.

Lilly, based in Indianapolis, gained 3.9 percent, to close at $38.86 on Tuesday. They continued to rise Wednesday morning, climbing another 2 percent, to $39.63 each.

Expectations have been “extraordinarily low” for the success of Alzheimer’s drugs, so a Lilly success with solanezumab could boost the shares 50 percent to 100 percent, Tim Anderson, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report.

“Eli Lilly and several of its competitors are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on what is essentially a massive lottery ticket,” Anderson said. “If their drugs are successful in delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, they could end up making Lipitor look like a mid-sized product,” he said in a note to clients sent Monday. Sales of solanezumab could reach $9 billion by 2020, he said.

Solanezumab is an antibody designed to clear protein fragments called beta amyloid that clutter the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Elan are testing bapineuzumab, a similar drug.

Anderson cautioned that the drug’s chances of success are only 10 percent to 20 percent. Because of the large potential payoff, drugmakers have been willing to gamble on the medicines.

A leading theory of the disease is that amyloid causes the disease by harming brain cells. Debate over whether the theory is correct has increased as other drugs that target the protein have failed or shown murky results in trials. In August 2010, Lilly stopped development of a pill, semagacestat, that blocked amyloid by another mechanism, after trials found it didn’t slow disease progression.

As many as 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative neurological condition with no approved treatment to slow brain cell death.


 

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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