Eli Lilly & Company LLY announced that the FDA has approved its cancer drug, Cyramza (ramucirumab) for the first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”) in patients with EGFR mutation.
With the latest approval, Cyramza is now approved for six indications to treat certain types of lung, liver, stomach and colorectal cancers. In lung cancer, until now, Cyramza, in combination with docetaxel, was approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC with disease progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy.
Lilly filed a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) seeking approval of Cyramza, a VEGF receptor 2 antagonist, in combination with Roche’s RHHBY Tarceva (erlotinib) in this indication based on data from the phase III RELAY study. We remind investors that in February, the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) had voted 6-5 for approving Cyramza for the indication. Cyramza was approved for the same patient population in Europe in January.
In the RELAY study, the Cyramza combo reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 41% compared to Tarceva in this patient population.
Lilly’s shares have risen 16.4% this year so far against a decrease of 0.4% for the industry.
Cyramza generated revenues of $239 million in the recently concluded first quarter of 2020, recording year-over-year increase of 21%. Cyramza is being evaluated in a broad global development program for additional indications.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Some other top-ranked large pharma stocks include AbbVie ABBV and AstraZeneca AZN. While AbbVie has the same rank as Lilly, AstraZeneca has a Zacks Rank #2(Buy).
AbbVie’s stock is up 4.6% this year so far. Its earnings estimate for 2020 have risen 14.2% while that for 2021 has increased 6.6% over the past 60 days.
AstraZeneca’s shares are up 9.5% this year so far. Its earnings estimates for 2020 and 2021 have risen by 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively.
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