April 24 Eli Lilly and Co said the
combination of its experimental breast cancer drug and a
commonly used treatment met the main goal of a late-stage study
in an interim analysis, setting the stage for a regulatory
submission later this year.
Shares of Indianapolis-based Lilly, which is scheduled to
report its first-quarter results on Tuesday, were up 1.3 percent
at $82.95 on Monday.
Lilly's drug, abemaciclib, is likely to compete with market
leader Pfizer Inc's Ibrance, which brought in $2.1
billion in 2016 sales, and Novartis AG's newly approved
"This is an unexpected win for Lilly," Leerink analyst
Seamus Fernandez said, adding that most investors expected the
trial to go to completion at its planned final analysis at the
end of this year.
The study, named Monarch-3, compared combined use of
abemaciclib and an aromatase inhibitor with the aromatase
The interim analysis of the combination therapy showed
statistically significant improvement in slowing disease
progression in patients and was deemed as having the "potential
to be best in class", the company said.
In March, Lilly said abemaciclib cleared another late-stage
With Monday's positive news following close on the heels of
last month's news, Lilly is assured of a product label with the
same breadth as its rivals, Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson said
in a client note.
Lilly said it intends to begin global submissions of these
results in the third quarter of 2017.
(Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina