“Eli Lilly and Co.’s experimental breast cancer drug abemaciclib significantly cut the risk of disease progression in a late-stage trial, bolstering the drug’s potential to become a new source of growth for the Indianapolis pharma’s oncology business.
“Updated results from a late-stage study known as MONARCH 3, presented over the weekend at the European Society of Medical Oncology’s annual meeting, showed abemaciclib in combination with an aromatase inhibitor extended progression-free survival in previously untreated patients with metastatic breast cancer.
“Eli Lilly has previously said abemaciclib could be best in class, yet it’s not clear whether the data disclosed to date will be enough to outshine rival drugs already marketed by Pfizer Inc. and Novartis AG.”
“Adding abemaciclib to letrozole or anastrozole improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared with either aromatase inhibitor alone in women with HR+/HER2-negative breast cancer enrolled in the phase III MONARCH 3 study, according to Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of the CDK4/6 inhibitor.
“MONARCH 3 (NCT02246621) is the second phase III trial of abemaciclib to demonstrate improved PFS in patients with HR+/HER2-negative breast cancer. In March, Lilly announced that in the MONARCH 2 study, combining abemaciclib with fulvestrant extended PFS compared with fulvestrant alone in patients who had progressed during or within 1 year of receiving endocrine therapy in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting, or during frontline endocrine treatment for metastatic disease.”