IBJNews

Lilly wins FDA approval for Alzheimer's imaging agent

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Eli Lilly and Co. says it has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new imaging agent that could help physicians better diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The agent, called Amyvid, is not expected to produce high-dollar sales for Lilly, but it could help to identify patients with Alzheimer’s—and those without it—earlier than other methods, perhaps improving treatment and focusing research efforts.

Indianapolis-based Lilly is currently studying an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, solanezumab, which if successful, could become a multibillion-per-year blockbuster and reverse Lilly’s recent struggles with expiring patents on its older blockbuster products. No treatment exists that slows or reverses the progression of Alzheimer's disease, which currently afflicts about 30 million people worldwide and is expected to afflict three times that number by 2050.

However, even Lilly officials say the chance of the solanezumab's success is low. That’s because scientists do not completely understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease. So efforts by Lilly and other major pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments is based so far on unproven theories.

Lilly’s scientists have followed the theory that Alzheimer’s is caused by the buildup of the protein beta-amyloid in a patient’s brain, which eventually forms sticky plaques that impede brain function. Solanezumab binds to amyloid in an effort to remove it from the brain via the bloodstream. And the imaging agent Amyvid binds to amyloid plaques, making them detectable using a PET scan.

Previously, the presence of amyloid plaques could only be confirmed by an autopsy, after a patient’s death. And sometimes the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was proved wrong.

"It's estimated that one in five patients clinically diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's Disease during life do not end up having Alzheimer's Disease pathology upon autopsy," said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc., the company that developed Amyvid, and which Lilly acquired in 2010 for $300 million. "The approval of Amyvid offers physicians a tool that, in conjunction with other diagnostic evaluations, can provide information to help physicians evaluate their patients."

Amyvid will become available in limited supplies in June. The FDA approval comes more than a year after the agency was first scheduled to make a decision on the drug.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT