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Delayed-Start Analyses in the Phase 3 Solanezumab EXPEDITION3 Study in Mild Alzheimer’s Disease



A delayed-start design has been proposed to assess a potential disease-modifying effect in investigational drugs for Alzheimer’s disease that target the underlying disease process. We extended this methodology to recently obtained data from the EXPEDITION3.


EXPEDITION3 was a Phase 3, double-blind study with participants randomized to solanezumab (400 mg) or placebo every 4 weeks for 80 weeks, with an optional extension of active treatment. The delayed-start analysis was designed to determine if a statistically significant treatment difference established during the placebo-controlled period is maintained (at predefined level) during the delayed-start period, which would suggest the active drug has a disease-modifying effect. The delayed-start analysis was assessed across multiple efficacy measures, and includes data from baseline in the placebo-controlled period and up to 9 months in the delayed-start period.


No significant difference was observed between the placebo and solanezumab treatment groups at the end of the placebo-controlled period for the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive 14-item subscale. A significant treatment difference was observed at the end of the placebo-controlled period for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living instrumental items, an effect also seen at 6 months in the delayed-start period, and the noninferiority criterion was met. No other efficacy measures met these criteria.


Delayed-start statistical methodology was used to understand the longitudinal outcomes in EXPEDITION3 and its extension. The small treatment differences observed at the end of the placebo-controlled phase prevented adequate assessment of any putative disease modifying effect.

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Correspondence to Hong Liu-Seifert.

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Liu-Seifert, H., Case, M.G., Andersen, S.W. et al. Delayed-Start Analyses in the Phase 3 Solanezumab EXPEDITION3 Study in Mild Alzheimer’s Disease. J Prev Alzheimers Dis 5, 8–14 (2018).

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