Lilly lung cancer drug boosts survival in phase 3
Eli Lilly & Company has announced that a recently completed phase 3 lung cancer clinical trial met its primary endpoint – a result that many analysts weren’t expecting, after a previous study was halted on safety grounds.
The trial, called SQUIRE, was evaluating Lilly’s necitumumab and found that patients with stage IV metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) experienced increased overall survival (OS) when administered necitumumab in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin as a first-line treatment, as compared to chemotherapy alone.
“We are pleased with these data which represent a potential advance in treatment for patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer, which is a difficult cancer to treat. If approved, necitumumab could be the first biologic therapy indicated to treat patients with squamous lung cancer.”
Richard Gaynor, M.D., vice president, product development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with approximately 1.37 million deaths in 2008, according to the WHO. NSCLC is much more common than other types of lung cancer, and accounts for 85 % of all lung cancer cases. Patients with squamous cell carcinoma represent about 30% of all patients affected by NSCLC.
Lilly plans to present results from this study at a scientific meeting next year. The global pharma company currently anticipates submitting to regulatory authorities before the end of 2014.
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