Lilly, Merck announces another collaboration of the immune-oncology

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced another collaboration of the Immuno-oncology that will evaluate abemaciclib (LY2835219) , Lilly's cyclin-related kinase 4 (CDK) and inhibitor 6, and Merck's KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in a Phase study across multiple tumor types. According to the Phase I trial results, the collaboration has the potential to progress to Phase II trials in patients who have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lilly is the sponsor of the Phase I study, and any subsequent Phase II study, for the terms of the contract. Enlistment is scheduled to begin in early 2016. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed. Lilly abemaciclib is a cell cycle inhibitor, designed to blind the growth of cancer cells by specifically inhibiting CDK4 and CDK6. Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that works by increasing the body's immune system's ability to help detect and fight tumor cells. Pembrolizumab blinds the reciprocal action between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, so activating T lymphocytes that can affect tumor cells and healthy cells.

"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Lilly in this combination study with KEYTRUDA and abemaciclib," said Eric Rubin, MD, Vice President and Therapeutic Charge Area, oncology early-stage reveal, Research by Merck. "Strategic collaborations such as this reinforce the consolidation we have bringing new combination treatments to the forefront for people with cancer."

SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company

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  • Adam Floyd