If there is anything more certain than the failure of experimental Alzheimer’s drugs — nearly 300, at last count — it is the immediate reaction of many diehard supporters of the amyloid hypothesis: They insist that idea, which served as the basis for most of those compounds, is still sound.
Roche pulls the plug on its anti-amyloid antibody crenezumab in January, after it has no chance of showing any benefit? Not enough to kill the amyloid hypothesis. Merck bails on verubecstat, which shut down production of toxic amyloid, in 2017? Still not enough. Eli Lilly announces in 2016 that its anti-amyloid solanezumab failed to show benefit in people with mild Alzheimer’s? Nope, not dead yet.