Bristol-Myers Squibb is pulling the plug on avagacestat for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, marking another experimental drug for the illness to crash and burn in clinical development.

The US drugmaker said this week that it is terminating development of the drug in this setting, but stressed that its decision is down to lack of efficacy and not because of any safety concerns.

The move follows an analysis of data from a completed Phase II study in patients with mild-to-moderate AD and an ongoing Phase II trial in predementia AD.

Its findings, B-MS said, did not warrant advancing avagacestat into Phase III development.

The company said it plans to share findings from the Phase II predementia study at a science meeting next year, and reiterated its belief that amyloid - which accumulates to form plaques in the brains of patients with the disease - remains an important target for Alzheimer’s research.

The failure of avagacestat follows the demise of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer's intravenous bapineuzumab in AD after it failed to hit clinical targets, as well as mixed results from Eli Lilly's solanezumab.