19 November 2011. On 16 November 2011, news dispensed at recent international meetings reached the pages of the Journal of Neuroscience with a paper reporting that Eli Lilly’s oral BACE1 inhibitor, LY2811376, reduces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ in healthy volunteers.
The Alzforum closely followed the storied development of this compound, which looked good in mice, dogs, and people, when a rat toxicology study gave it the axe just before Phase 2 (see ARF 2011 AD/PD story; ARF related news story). Further experiments in BACE knockout mice determined that the adverse eye effects in the rats stemmed from some feature of the compound unrelated to BACE1 inhibition, and the company is developing another BACE1 inhibitor that “replicates and extends the pharmacodynamic responses” of LY2811376, first author Patrick May told ARF (see comment below). ClinicalTrials.gov lists three Phase 1 trials for LY2886721, an unidentified compound.
In the company scientists’ view, the research offers a broader message of hope to the AD field. “This first description of an orally available CNS-active β-secretase inhibitor after more than a decade of research clearly demonstrates that BACE1 is a tractable target, and that profound central Aβ lowering can be achieved by BACE1 inhibition in humans,” the authors write.—Esther Landhuis.
May PC, Dean RA, Lowe SL, Martenyi F, Sheehan SM, Boggs LN, Monk SA, Mathes BM, Mergott DJ, Watson BM, Stout SL, Timm DE, LaBell ES, Gonzales CR, Nakano M, Jhee SS, Yen M, Ereshefsky L, Lindstrom TD, Calligaro DO, Cocke PJ, Hall G, Friedrich S, Citron M, Audia JE. Robust Central Reduction of Amyloid-β in Humans With an Orally Available, Non-Peptidic β-Secretase Inhibitor. J Neurosci. 16 Nov 2011;31(46):16507-16. Abstract