Eli Lilly reported disappointing results from a late-stage test of one of its cancer drugs.
According to Reuters, the pharmaceutical giant was testing a drug called Verzenio on patients with lung cancer. Verzenio was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year for patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. But the treatment — a daily CDK 4/6 inhibitor that blocks certain enzymes that promote the growth of cancer cells — failed to improve the overall survival rate in patients with small-cell lung cancer with a mutation of the KRAS gene.
The drug, however, did achieve secondary goals by showing evidence of providing a progression-free survival and an overall response rate.
“While the outcome is unfortunate for patients with KRAS-mutated, advanced lung cancer, we remain encouraged by the antitumor activity observed with abemaciclib in this form of lung cancer where few clinical advances have been achieved,” Levi Garraway, senior vice president of global development and medical affairs, said.
The news is just the latest clinical trial setback for Lilly, which has already laid off nearly 9 percent of its workforce — or 3,500 positions — this year to save $500 million.
Last November, a potential Alzheimer’s treatment failed during a late-stage study.
The company has also seen sales fall in recent years as patent protections for two of its best-selling drugs — Cymbalta and Zyprexa — have been removed.
In April, the FDA also rejected a rheumatoid arthritis drug developed by Lilly.
Upon news of the Verzenio failure, Lilly’s stocks sank 4 percent.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery