Combo treatment meets main goal in lung cancer study


Eli Lilly and Company said on Tuesday that its combo treatment, Cyramza, met the main goal in a late-stage study in patients with a form of lung cancer.

Lilly’s Cyramza in combination with Roche Holding’s erlotinib showed a statistically significant improvement in the time patients lived without their cancer growing or spreading after starting treatment.

“Despite recent treatment advances in metastatic EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer, prognosis remains poor and there is an ongoing need for additional first-line treatment options to help patients with this deadly disease,” said Maura Dickler, M.D., vice president of late phase development, Lilly Oncology.

There is no cure for people with metastatic lung cancer. The disease is associated with low survival rates and disease progression following acquired resistance remains a challenge. Most patients receive several lines of treatment and the therapeutic regimen prescribed for first-line treatment can impact a person’s options for later lines of treatment. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are the current standard treatment option for EGFR-mutated NSCLC. Erlotinib, the TKI included in the RELAY trial regimen, is a globally recognized standard of care for this type of lung cancer.

“We are excited about these results, which show CYRAMZA plus erlotinib significantly delayed disease progression in this patient population. The RELAY trial is another example of Lilly’s deep commitment to providing new treatment options to patients with lung cancer,” said Dr. Dickler. “We would like to thank the patients, investigators and clinical trial sites that are participating in the RELAY study, and we look forward to working with regulatory authorities globally on our submissions.”

Lilly intends to initiate global regulatory submissions in mid-2019.

About Lung Cancer and EGFR Mutations

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and most other countries, killing nearly 1.7 million people worldwide each year.1 In the US, lung cancer is responsible for approximately 25 percent of all cancer deaths, more than those from breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.2 Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is much more common than other types of lung cancer and accounts for about 80 to 85 percent of all lung cancer cases.3 Stage IV NSCLC is a very difficult-to-treat cancer and the prognosis is poor for metastatic NSCLC.4

EGFR is a protein that helps cells grow and divide.

When the EGFR gene is mutated it can cause the protein to be overactive, resulting in the formation of cancer cells. EGFR mutations may occur in 10 to 35 percent of NSCLC tumors globally.5 Activating EGFR mutations are found in about 10 to 20 percent of Caucasian patients with lung adenocarcinomas and in up to 40 to 60 percent of Asian patients.6,7,8 Regardless of ethnicity, these mutations are commonly found in females, non-smokers and those with adenocarcinoma histology.9,10 The most common EGFR mutations are activating exon 19 deletion and exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations, which are present in over 90 percent of EGFR-mutated tumors.7,8

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