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Alzheimer's Disease Timeline

Lilly's commitment to research and development

black dot representing industry milestone  Industry Milestone
red dot representing Lilly milestone  Lilly Milestone
Black and white image of Dr. Alzheimer sitting in chair


Dr. Alois Alzheimer first describes "a peculiar disease."

drawing of memantine compound (NH2)


Memantine first synthesized at Lilly.

image of amyloid plaque


Beta-amyloid identified by researchers; the chief component of Alzheimer's disease brain plaques and a prime suspect in triggering nerve cell damage.

image of tau tangles


Tau protein identified by researchers as a key component of tangles — the second pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and another prime suspect in nerve cell degeneration.

drawing of Xanomeline molecule


Xanomeline is the first molecule developed by Lilly for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; program is discontinued following Phase 2 trial.

drawing of Donepezil molecule


Donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, is approved.

two Lilly scientists wearing white lab coats in lab

1990s & 2000s

Development and termination of semagacestat, an inhibitor of the gamma-secretase enzyme.

image of an anti-amyloid antibody

Early 2000s

Solanezumab, an anti-amyloid antibody, (first-in-human dose) FHD date.

red checkmark icon


Memantine is FDA approved for moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.

drawing of BACE I molecule


BACE I (Beta-secretase) inhibitor candidate selected.

icon with red round background and outline of two shaking hands


Lilly acquires Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held company developing novel molecular imaging compounds.

image of an anti-amyloid antibody


Donanemab, an anti-amyloid antibody, FHD date.

Amyvid logo, Florbetapir F 18 Injection


First amyloid imaging agent (Amyvid) approved by the FDA to detect the presence of amyloid plaque in the brain.

red icon outlining someone standing at a podium


Lilly announces pooled results from the solanezumab Phase 3 EXPEDITION & EXPEDITION2 trials with data supporting efficacy in mild, but not moderate AD dementia, in a pre-specified secondary analysis.

Additionally, a biomarker sub study showed approximately 20-30% of participants did not have amyloid pathology. The subsequent solanezumab Phase 3 study, EXPEDITION3 was the first to require pathology for inclusion. An AD diagnosis must include a clinical assessment as well as biomarker confirmation of the hallmark neuropathology.

Red icon of a test tube in a stand


Initiation of EXPEDITION 3 with solanezumab — the first Alzheimer’s disease trial to require evidence of pathology.

male and female Lilly scientists wearing white lab coats and smiling


Lilly's public-private partnership initiation with National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the first secondary prevention study, A4 Study, in late onset Alzheimer's disease for solanezumab.

icon with red round background and outline of two people sitting across from one another with a speech bubble above their heads


Lilly collaborates on Alzheimer's disease Adjunct Diagnostic Tool, a commercially scalable cerebrospinal fluid assay for amyloid-beta 1-42.

icon of red microscope


Solanezumab does not meet the primary endpoint in the EXPEDITION3 clinical trial; Lilly did not pursue regulatory submissions for the treatment of mild dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.

side by side PET scan images


First Lilly trial using tau PET for screening.

imaging test slides


Termination of the BACE programs.

icon with red round background and white outline of male


Lilly begins Phase 2 clinical trial of zagotenemab in patients with early symptomatic Alzheimer's disease.

TAUVID logo, flortaucipir F18 injection


First tau imaging agent (Tauvid) approved by the FDA to detect the presence of tau tangles in the brain.

icon of three red test tubes in holder


First Lilly trial using blood-based biomarker for screening.

icon with red round background and white outline of human head profile


Lilly completes enrollment for Phase 3 TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 trial of donanemab. Roughly 1,800 participants were enrolled.

male and female scientists wearing white Lilly lab coats and gloves working in lab


FDA grants breakthrough therapy designation for donanemab.

icon with red round background and white outline of microscope


Zagotenemab does not meet the primary endpoint in phase 2 trial; Lilly ends development.

Icon of two pills outlined in red


Lilly initiates first oral, brain-penetrant, once daily pill in Phase 2 anti-tau therapy study.

icon with red round background and white outline of stacked paper


Completion of donanemab submission for accelerated approval.

icon with round red background and white outline of clipboard with checkboxes


Lilly begins Phase 3 trial of remternetug, an investigational monoclonal antibody, in patients with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.