Eisai Co. on Sept. 27 began the application process for the Japanese drugmaker’s experimental drug lecanemab for early Alzheimer’s disease using an accelerated approval pathway, the same path that helped Eisai’s development partner Biogen Inc. win U.S. approval of its medication in June.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted breakthrough therapy designation to Japanese company Eisai and partner Biogen’s experimental therapy lecanemab for patients with early Alzheimer’s.

Eli Lilly and Co. on March 14 said the company’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug slowed the rate of decline in a measure of cognition and function by 32 percent compared with a placebo in a mid-stage trial of patients at an early stage of the mind wasting disease.

Roche Holding and partner AC Immune called a halt to two late-stage studies of the companies’ crenezumab drug for early Alzheimer’s, the latest in a string of failures to find a treatment for the progressive brain disease.