(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc research chief Mikael Dolsten said the company's experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease is the drug industry's "best chance" to change the course of the memory-robbing illness.
Dolsten, speaking at the BIO CEO and investor conference in New York, would not predict whether the drug being developed with Johnson & Johnson would work.
"This is so far the best chance the industry has for disease modification in Alzheimer's," he said. Dolsten said Pfizer's drug, bapineuzumab, had far more complete and compelling data from already finished mid-stage clinical trials than Eli Lilly and Co's solanezumab.
Both companies plan to release Phase III data in the second half of this year from their respective large trials. The drugs are meant to be the first to slow progression of Alzheimer's, a disease that affects an estimated 5 million Americans.
Dolsten cautioned that Alzheimer's patients would probably need to be treated at earlier stages of the disease to produce the most beneficial results, a prospect he sees likely within the next five years.