Lilly drug slows Alzheimer's progression by 35% in trial

STORY: Another Alzheimer’s treatment could soon hit the market. An experimental drug developed by Eli Lilly slowed cognitive decline by 35-percent in a closely-watched late-stage trial, the company said Wednesday. The medication called donanemab which was given monthly through an intravenous infusion met all goals of the trial combating the brain-wasting disease.

The chief science officer for the not-for-profit Alzheimer’s Association called the results the strongest phase 3 data for an Alzheimer’s treatment to date. Previously approved drugs including one from Japan’s Eisai and Biogen were shown to be less effective at slowing the progression of the disease.

Donanemab did cause brain swelling in some patients which is a known side effect of drugs of this type and there were deaths attributed to the condition. One outside researcher referred to this as risks that need to be considered.

Lilly said it plans to file for traditional U.S. approval by the end of June, and with regulators from other countries shortly thereafter. It hasn’t determined a price for the treatment.

Over 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and the number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Lilly’s stock was up 5-percent in late morning trading after hitting an all-time high.