Eli Lilly rockets 14% after experimental Alzheimer's drug slows rate of decline in trial (LLY)

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lilly on a wall of Lilly France, part of  Eli Lilly and Co, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg, France, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent KesslerReuters

Summary List Placement
  • Eli Lilly rallied as much as 13.8% on Monday after announcing its experimental Alzheimer's drug significantly slowed the rate of decline in patients.
  • The drug slowed the decline in patients' ability to think by 32% compared to a placebo in the phase 2 trial, according to a press release.
  • Lilly will present full trial results at a future meeting and submitted data for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Watch Eli Lilly trade live here.

Eli Lilly soared as much as 13.8% on Monday after the pharmaceutical giant revealed its experimental Alzheimer's drug slowed the rate of decline in trial patients.

The drug, called donanemab, slowed the decline of patients' ability to think by 32% compared to a placebo, the company said in a press release. If the drug is as effective as the study suggests, donanemab could be the first Alzheimer's drug to show positive results in a phase 2 trial, according to The New York Times.

The study included 272 patients and studied patients' declines over two years. The drug's primary goal was to show a significant slowing of decline in a composite measure of cognition and daily function over 18 months.

Full trial results are set to be presented at a future meeting and submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed clinical journal. Lilly will continue to research the drug's effectiveness in a 500-patient trial.

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The news pushed Lilly shares to a record high. The company's shares are up about 9% year-to-date.

Participants were weaned off of the drug and onto a placebo once brain plaques cleared, according to the company. Plaques were removed in six to 12 months, The Times reported.

Donanemab also showed consistent improvement in secondary indicators tracking cognition and function, but didn't reach the threshold to be deemed statistically significant, Lilly said.

Eli Lilly traded at $184.89 as of 1:55 p.m. ET Monday. The company has eight "buy" ratings and six "hold" ratings from analysts.

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