Lilly’s pegilodecakin combo falls at Phase 3 in pancreatic cancer

pharmafile | October 17, 2019 | News story | Research and Development Cancer, Eli Lilly, FOLFOX, Pancreatic cancer, pegilodecakin, pharma 

In disappointing news, Eli Lilly has revealed that pegilodecakin, in combination with the chemotherapy regimen FOLFOX (Folinic acid, Fluorouracil and Oxaliplatin), proved inferior to FOLFOX alone in the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer in patients who saw disease progression during or following a first-line gemcitabine-containing regimen, failing to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 study.

The findings showed that the pegilodecakin-plus-FOLFOX regimen was associated with a 5% higher rate of Grade 3/4 adverse events, including neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, fatigue and anaemia, compared to FOLFOX alone.

Lilly picked up the drug back in 2018 with its acquisition of ARMO Biosciences. The drug is also being evaluated in two ongoing Phase 2 trials in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Pancreatic cancer has proven to be one of the most difficult tumour types to treat and there have been very few recent treatment advancements in the later-line metastatic setting. We are grateful to the patients, investigators and researchers who participated in the study,” said Dr Maura Dickler, Vice President, Late Phase Development at Lilly Oncology. “While we are disappointed by the outcome of the SEQUOIA study, we look forward to the upcoming results in lung cancer, learning from those results and increasing our understanding of pegilodecakin’s novel mechanism of action in cancer immunotherapy.”

Julie Fleshman, President and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), added: “More than 56,700 Americans – mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, colleagues and friends – will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone. Because this is an aggressive disease and the current scope of treatment options is limited, there remains an urgent need for meaningful solutions to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.”

Matt Fellows

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