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Summary Box: Lilly plans Alzheimer's drug study

BACK TO THE LAB: Eli Lilly and Co. will undertake another late-stage study of one of its experimental Alzheimer's drugs next year, sending shares of the pharmaceutical company downward with a lengthy road ahead. However, the announcement shows that Lilly is confident of success despite previous shortfalls for solanezumab.

MIXED SUCCESS: Lilly said in August the intravenous treatment failed to slow memory decline in two late-stage studies of about 1,000 patients each. But scientists saw a statistically significant slowing when they combined trial data. They also saw it when they examined a subgroup of patients with mild cases of Alzheimer's disease.

THE GOAL: Not only is Alzheimer's the most common type of dementia, it is a fatal disease with no known cure. There is a global effort underway to find better ways to treat the disease, or at least delay its onset.

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