Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. has announced it will stop developing an experimental Alzheimer's medicine now on its late stage of clinical trials in the U.S.
The decision to drop semagacestat came on the heels of findings it did not treat patients suffering from memory loss. The drug also worsened the ability of patients to do daily activities and increased their risk of getting skin cancer.
Semagacestat is one of four experimental drugs for Alzheimer's that Eli Lilly is testing. Another drug, solanezumab, is also undergoing trials.
The pill semagacestat works by preventing the enzyme gamma secretase from producing the plaque beta amyloid. Plaques and tangles, another protein, are found in brains of Alzheimer's patients and clearing these may restore memory and cognition.
Solanezumab, which is administered intravenously, works in the same way as semagacestat by blocking gamma secretase.
Eli Lilly will continue to develop therapies for Alzheimer's, according to Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter.