This is the fourth post in our Lilly Discovery blog series that describes how Lilly employees discover and develop innovative treatments for patients. We're also highlighting many of the passionate scientists and clinicians behind Lilly’s cutting-edge discoveries.
The brain, the most complex organ of the human body, has fascinated scientists for centuries. Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disease that impacts millions of people around the world, has perplexed scientists and medical researchers since its discovery by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. For nearly three decades, Lilly scientists have been studying the mysterious biology of Alzheimer’s disease in an effort to understand, change and modify the course of this incurable disease.
A critical step in advancing Alzheimer’s disease research is the implementation of clinical trials, which serve as the backbone for getting innovative medicines to patients. We explored phase 1 studies in our last chapter, where a drug is tested in a small group of people for the first time to evaluate its safety and dosing and determine side effects. In phase 2 studies, a drug is given to a larger group of people to determine its effectiveness and to further evaluate its safety. Phase 3 studies confirm a drug’s effectiveness in larger groups of people, monitor side effects, compare the drug to commonly used treatments and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.
Lilly’s commitment to finding novel therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases is supported by its robust pipeline, as well as the scientists, researchers and medical doctors who are pushing the boundaries of clinical research, making it more connected, engaging and accessible than ever before.
Two Lilly scientists have been instrumental in accelerating clinical research through their work on phase 2 and phase 3 Alzheimer’s disease trials. A shared passion for science, research and helping others led neurologists Roy Yaari, M.D., and Adam Fleisher, M.D., down similar career paths and straight to Lilly’s doors. Read on to learn about Roy and Adam’s quests to help patients and their families and why they do research: