In a surprising move, Eli Lilly discontinued further development of a cholesterol-lowering treatment that some Wall Streeters thought would become a blockbuster medicine. A data monitoring committee determined that the drug, known as evacetrapib, simply wasn’t working and so was unlikely to meet the primary endpoint in a key late-stage clinical trial.
So what now? For Lilly, the decision places more pressure to succeed with other pipeline products, notably an Alzheimer’s drug. The news is also likely to raise doubts about a CETP drug that Merck is developing. But for other companies – notably, Amgen, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi – this may be a gift, since their new injectable treatments will face less competition.