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FDA Grants Priority Review for Lilly's Abemaciclib for the Treatment of Advanced Breast Cancer

INDIANAPOLIS, July 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted and filed its New Drug Application (NDA) for abemaciclib, a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4 & 6 inhibitor, and given the NDA a Priority Review designation. The NDA includes the company's submission of abemaciclib for two indications: abemaciclib monotherapy for patients with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer who had prior endocrine therapy and chemotherapy for metastatic disease; and for abemaciclib in combination with fulvestrant in women with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer who had disease progression following endocrine therapy. This submission is based on the MONARCH 1 and MONARCH 2 studies, respectively.

"We are pleased that the FDA has granted abemaciclib Priority Review, both as a potential monotherapy and combination therapy [with fulvestrant] for patients with advanced breast cancer," said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president, global development and medical affairs, Lilly Oncology. "Breast cancer is a complex disease, and the need still exists for new treatment options as patients face a significant disease burden. We look forward to working with the FDA and bringing this important potential treatment option to patients as soon as possible."

In 2015, the FDA granted abemaciclib Breakthrough Therapy Designation based on data from the breast cancer cohort expansion of the company's Phase 1 trial, JPBA, which studied the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib in women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer. A drug that receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation may be eligible for Priority Review, which aims to expedite the review of applications for drugs that, if approved, would represent a significant advance in treatment. With Priority Review of a new drug, the FDA's goal is to take action within eight months of receiving an application, compared with the standard review timeframe of 12 months.1 Lilly is working closely with the FDA and anticipates agency action on this application in the first quarter of 2018.

In addition, Lilly intends to submit abemaciclib to European regulators in the third quarter of 2017 and to Japanese regulators before the end of 2017.

About Advanced Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012.2 Advanced breast cancer includes metastatic breast cancer, cancer that has spread from the breast tissue to other parts of the body, and locally or regionally advanced breast cancer, meaning the cancer has grown outside the organ where it started but has not yet spread to other parts of the body.3 Of all early stage breast cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S., approximately 30 percent will become metastatic and an estimated six to ten percent of all new breast cancer cases are initially diagnosed as being metastatic.4 Survival is lower among women with a more advanced stage at diagnosis: 5-year relative survival is 99 percent for localized disease, 85 percent for regional disease, and 26 percent for metastatic disease. Other factors, such as tumor size, also impacts 5-year survival estimates.5

About Abemaciclib

In many cancers, uncontrolled cell growth arises from a loss of cell cycle regulation due to increased signaling from CDK4 and CDK6. Abemaciclib (LY2835219) is an investigational, oral cell cycle inhibitor, designed to block the growth of cancer cells by specifically inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinases, CDK4 and CDK6, and was most active against Cyclin D1 and CDK4 in cell-free enzymatic assays. In breast cancer, Cyclin D1/CDK4 has been shown to promote phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (Rb), cell proliferation and tumor growth. In hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cell lines, sustained target inhibition by abemaciclib reduced phosphorylation of Rb, inducing cell cycle arrest.

In addition to its current MONARCH clinical trials evaluating abemaciclib in breast cancer, a Phase 3 trial of abemaciclib in lung cancer is also underway.

For more information on additional abemaciclib trials, a complete listing can be found on ClinicalTrials.gov (in the search box on the home page, type in "abemaciclib").

About the MONARCH Clinical Trial Program

Lilly is evaluating abemaciclib in the comprehensive MONARCH clinical program, which includes the following studies:

  • MONARCH 1: a global Phase 2 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib monotherapy in patients with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer who had prior endocrine therapy and chemotherapy for metastatic disease.
  • MONARCH 2: a global Phase 3 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib, in combination with fulvestrant, in patients with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer who progressed on endocrine therapy.
  • MONARCH 3: a global Phase 3 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib, in combination with an aromatase inhibitor, as initial endocrine-based therapy for postmenopausal women with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer who have had no prior systemic treatment for advanced disease.
  • monarcHER: a global Phase 2 study evaluating abemaciclib plus trastuzumab (with or without fulvestrant) in women with HR+, HER2+ advanced breast cancer.
  • MONARCH plus: a Phase 3 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib, in combination with endocrine therapies, to support registration in China.
  • neoMONARCH: a Phase 2 study evaluating abemaciclib in the neoadjuvant setting, alone or in combination with the non-steroidal aromatase-inhibitor anastrozole, in postmenopausal women with previously untreated early stage HR+, HER2- breast cancer.
  • monarchE: a global Phase 3 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib in the adjuvant setting in patients with high-risk, early breast cancer.

About Lilly Oncology

For more than 50 years, Lilly has been dedicated to delivering life-changing medicines and support to people living with cancer and those who care for them. Lilly is determined to build on this heritage and continue making life better for all those affected by cancer around the world. To learn more about Lilly's commitment to people with cancer, please visit www.LillyOncology.com.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at www.lilly.com and www.lilly.com/newsroom/social-channels. P-LLY

Fulvestrant (Faslodex®), MedImmune/AstraZeneca. MedImmune Limited/AstraZeneca provided fulvestrant for this trial.

Lilly Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements (as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) about abemaciclib as a potential treatment for patients with breast cancer and reflects Lilly's current beliefs. However, as with any pharmaceutical product, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of development and commercialization. Among other things, there can be no guarantee that abemaciclib will receive regulatory approvals or be commercially successful. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see Lilly's most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release.

1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CDER 21st Century Review Process Desk Reference Guide. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CDER/ManualofPoliciesProcedures/UCM218757.pdf. Accessed: July 7, 2017.
2 World Cancer Research Fund International. Breast Cancer. http://www.wcrf.org/cancer_statistics/data_specific_cancers/breast_cancer_statistics.php. Accessed: July 7, 2017.
3 American Cancer Society. Understanding Advanced Cancer, Metastatic Cancer and Bone Metastases. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/understanding-your-diagnosis/advanced-cancer/what-is.html. Accessed: July 7, 2017.
4 Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. 13 Facts about Metastatic Breast Cancer. http://www.mbcn.org/13-facts-about-metastatic-breast-cancer/. Accessed: July 7, 2017.
5 American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2015-2016. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/breast-cancer-facts-and-figures/breast-cancer-facts-and-figures-2015-2016.pdf. Accessed: July 7, 2017.

SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company

Posted: July 2017

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