ZURICH Nov 23 Roche said on Wednesday
it still believed drugs targeting a protein called beta amyloid
had potential to help fight Alzheimer's disease, despite the
high-profile failure of such a product from Eli Lilly.
As the setback sent shares in Lilly skidding, Roche pointed
out there were significant differences between two experimental
Alzheimer's drugs it was developing and the U.S. drugmaker's
"We remain confident in our clinical development programmes
and continue evaluating two late-stage antibodies that target
beta amyloid, crenezumab and gantenerumab," a Roche spokesman
said in a statement.
"Crenezumab and gantenerumab are distinct from each other,
as well as from other investigational medicines."
Roche added its clinical trials programmes incorporated
lessons from ongoing research in the field, noting it was
investigating high drug doses and also targeting early-stage
patients, who might benefit more from drug interventions.
The failure of Lilly's amyloid-based drug has cast doubt on
this approach to fighting the memory-robbing disease, although a
number of experts believe other therapies tackling the problem
protein in slightly different ways might still work.
(Reporting by John Miller and Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark