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AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly progess on Alzheimer's drug

LONDON--AstraZeneca PLC AZN, -0.54% and Eli Lilly and Co. LLY, -0.23% said they would progress a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug after initial human testing showed it didn't have harmful side effects.

The drug, called AZD3293, is a so-called BACE inhibitor, a hot new class of drugs the industry hopes could prevent the onset of Alzheimer's by preventing the buildup of a protein known as amyloid in the brain, thought to be the main cause of the degenerative neurological disease.

AstraZeneca and Lilly said they would progress the drug to a phase three clinical trial. The final stage of testing, in patients with early stage Alzheimer's. They hope to enrol a total of 2,200 patients across 14 countries in the trial. They said they would also start test the drug in patients...