Trial data shows promise for Lilly/MSD combo regimen in lung cancer

pharmafile | June 6, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing MSD, Merck, collaboration, immuno-oncology, lilly, lung cancer, non-small cell, parternship 

Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) has presented data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual congress showcasing its collaborations with MSD (NYSE: MRK) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

The pair’s immune-oncology partnership has seen a combination of Lilly’s Alimta (permetrexed), plus carboplatin, with MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab). Keytruda has also been trialled in combination with Lilly’s Cyramza (ramucirumab).

In the early KEYNOTE trials, encouraging results were observed, with one cohort of patients achieving an overall response rate of 71%. Furthermore, the safety profile of these drugs in combination was reinforced in these early trials. Phase III trials evaluating these combination therapies are currently enrolling.

Richard Gaynor, senior VP of product development and medical affairs at Lilly Oncology, says: “These early data from the combinations of ALIMTA and KEYTRUDA in front-line nonsquamous NSCLC and CYRAMZA and KEYTRUDA in later lines of NSCLC are encouraging. We eagerly await Phase II and Phase III data with the ALIMTA and KEYTRUDA combinations and more mature data with the CYRAMZA and KEYTRUDA combination, in NSCLC, gastric and bladder cancers, to better understand the role of immuno-oncology combinations in improving patient outcomes in these settings.”

Sean Murray

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