A new partnership with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) continues a string of immune oncology collaborations with other pharmaceutical makers. The latest agreement involves evaluating the combination of Lilly's cancer treatment CYRAMZA and an investigational inhibitor from AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN). The partnership follows others in the past year, including work with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) and Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK).

Richard Gaynor says this treatment is part of “one of the more exciting areas of oncology” known as immuno-oncology, which uses drug molecules to work with the body's immune system to attack hard-to-treat cancers. He calls this form of treatment the “next wave of immuno-oncology research.”

He says doctors and researchers have realized there is no “magic drug” to cure all types of cancer, so the science comes down to customizing therapy and preventing the tumor from not responding to different treatments.

Gaynor is currently attending the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago and says a big focus of the event is on combination therapies.

He believes Lilly's portfolio is “well-placed” and the company has the right kind of expertise and collaborations to make an impact on the future of fighting the disease.

You can read more about the partnership with AstraZeneca by clicking here.

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