AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly Advance Alzheimer’s Disease Drug CandidateBy
AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly and Company will continue a Phase III study of AZD3293, an oral beta secretase cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor currently in development as a potential treatment for early Alzheimer's disease.
The study is part of an alliance between the companies formed in 2014 for the development and commercialization of AZD3293/LY3314814. Under the agreement, Lilly leads clinical development, working with researchers from AstraZeneca's Neuroscience Research and Development Team while AstraZeneca will be responsible for manufacturing. The companies will take joint responsibility for commercialization of the molecule and will share all future costs equally for development and commercialization, as well as net global revenues post-launch.
Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will receive a further milestone payment from Lilly now that AZD3293 will move into Phase III testing with a payment of $100 million.
AZD3293 has been shown in Phase I studies to reduce levels of amyloid beta in the cerebro-spinal fluid of people with Alzheimer's disease and healthy volunteers. The progression of Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain. BACE is an enzyme associated with the development of amyloid beta. Inhibiting BACE is expected to prevent the formation of amyloid plaque and eventually slow the progression of the disease.
AstraZeneca and Lilly have also announced the planned initiation of a new Phase III trial for AZD3293 to study the safety and efficacy of AZD3293 in people with mild Alzheimer's dementia. The trial will begin enrolling patients in the third quarter of 2016.