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A new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease developed by Eli Lilly slowed patients’ rate of cognitive and functional decline by 35% compared to placebo, the company said Wednesday, paving the way for a submission to the Food and Drug Administration and boosting hopes for a new class of Alzheimer’s drugs.

But the positive outcome of the study involving the drug, called donanemab, could be tempered by the deaths of two patients, and possibly a third, from a type of brain swelling caused by these drugs.


The results of the study were reported in a press release and have not yet been reviewed by outside scientists. Lilly said the data will be used to file for full approval with the FDA before the end of June. If cleared, donanemab will compete with another new Alzheimer’s treatment, Leqembi, made by Eisai and Biogen, that secured FDA approval in January.

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