Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. has announced a new collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim. The partnership involves a potential metastatic breast cancer treatment combining products from both companies.
The companies plan to launch Phase 1b trials on the safety of Lilly’s abemaciclib inhibitor and a Boehringer Ingelheim antibody, with work beginning later this year. Abemaciclib is designed to block the growth of cancer cells, while Boehringer Ingelheim’s antibody aims to prevent the activation of a specific receptor, which could help decrease tumor growth.
Lilly says more than 246,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. The company says, in about 30 percent of those cases, the cancer will become metastatic and spread to other parts of the body.
In a release, Lilly Oncology Senior Vice President of Product Development and Medical Affairs Richard Gaynor said, "We are pleased to join with Boehringer Ingelheim to study the potential of their molecule in combination with Lilly’s abemaciclib, for which we have an active Phase 3 development program underway. For patients living with metastatic breast cancer, the limited treatment options available make this an important area of focus for our efforts to advance the most innovative treatments."