Breast cancer patients treated with Eli Lilly’s experimental drug abemaciclib paired with the established medication fulvestrant live nearly twice as long without the disease returning or spreading, based on new Phase 3 clinical data, the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical maker said in a release.
In a June 3 press release, Eli Lilly said the results show that when fulvestrant and abemaciclib are paired, patients live 16.4 months, versus 9.3 months when only fulvestrant is administered.
Lead researcher George Sledge Jr., a faculty member at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, hailed the findings, which were presented at this year’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
“Metastatic HR+ breast cancer remains a dangerous disease, and oncologists are always on the lookout for active new therapies to combat it," Sledge said in the release. "I am very impressed with the results from this study. For these patients who progressed on endocrine therapy, there was a significant prolongation of progression-free survival, and more than double the response rate, including an increased rate of complete response."
The data were culled from a MONARCH 2 study that is in the final stages before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can authorize it for use. In 2015, the FDA had designated abemiciclib as a breakthrough drug, clearing the way for fast-track assessment and review.