Eli Lilly is paying AstraZeneca $30 million up front as part of a co-development deal that adds the latter’s Phase I-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD) candidate MEDI1814 to the firms’ existing AD collaboration. Announcement of the deal coincides with Lilly separately reporting detailed data from the previously disclosed failed Phase III EXPEDITION3 study with its own anti-amyloid-beta (Aβ) monoclonal antibody AD candidate solanezumab.

AstraZeneca’s MEDI1814 is an antibody targeting Aβ42, which the firm claims exhibits a unique mechanism of action among clinical-stage antibodies and could offer a new approach to treating AD. “We are excited to build on an already productive collaboration with Lilly, which combines the expertise of our two companies with a new program focused on the Aβ pathway,” commented Mene Pangalos, evp, IMED Biotech Unit and Business Development at AstraZeneca.

In September 2014, Lilly and AstraZeneca signed a potentially $500 million agreement to develop AZD3293, an oral beta-secretase cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor for the treatment of AD. AZD3293 is currently undergoing two pivotal Phase III studies.

Lilly announced topline results from the Phase III solanezumab study in November and has now presented detailed data from the failed EXPEDITION3 study at the 9th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's Disease (CTAD) early December meeting. Lilly confirmed today that it would not pursue regulatory submissions for solanezumab for the indication of treating mild dementia due to AD. “The results of EXPEDITION3 are without question disappointing,” said Eric Siemers, M.D., distinguished medical fellow at Lilly, in a statement. “However, Lilly remains committed to finding solutions for this devastating disease.”