FDA Grants Priority Review for Potential New Indication for Lilly's Verzenio(TM) (abemaciclib) as Initial Treatment of Advanced Breast Cancer

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, USA I October 12, 2017 I Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Priority Review designation for its New Drug Application (NDA) for Verzenio™ (abemaciclib), a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4 & 6 inhibitor. The NDA was based upon the positive interim results from MONARCH 3, a study of abemaciclib in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy for the treatment of women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer. The results were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress, and recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"On the heels of our recent FDA approval of Verzenio, we are pleased with this important step forward in the agency's consideration to expand the use of Verzenio in metastatic breast cancer," said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president, global development and medical affairs, Lilly Oncology. "We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the FDA to advance this important treatment across the spectrum of care for patients living with advanced or metastatic breast cancer." 

Priority Review 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

In the third quarter of 2017, Lilly completed EU and Japan regulatory submissions for abemaciclib.

Notes to Editor

About Advanced Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women worldwide with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012.2 An estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in women in 2017.3 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.4 Of all early stage breast cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S., approximately 30 percent will become metastatic and an estimated six to 10 percent of all new breast cancer cases are initially diagnosed as being metastatic.5 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 impact 5-year survival estimates.6

About Verzenio™ (abemaciclib)
Verzenio (abemaciclib) is an inhibitor of CDK4 and CDK6, which are activated by binding to D-cyclins. In estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer cell lines, cyclin D1 and CDK4 & 6 promote phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (Rb), cell cycle progression, and cell proliferation. 

Verzenio disrupts the cell cycle. Preclinically, Verzenio dosed daily without interruption as a single agent or in combination with antiestrogens resulted in reduction of tumor size. In vitro, continuous exposure to Verzenio inhibited Rb phosphorylation and blocked progression from G1 to S phase of the cell cycle, resulting in senescence and apoptosis (cell death). Inhibiting CDK4 & 6 in healthy cells can result in side effects, some of which may be serious. Clinical evidence also suggests that Verzenio crosses the blood-brain barrier.7

Verzenio is indicated:

  • in combination with fulvestrant for women with HR+, HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer with disease progression following endocrine therapy
  • as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with HR+, HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer with disease progression following endocrine therapy and prior chemotherapy in the metastatic setting

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 newsroom.lilly.com/social-channels. P-LLY

1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CDER 21st Century Review Process Desk Reference Guide. https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170405202655/https://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofMedicalProductsandTobacco/CDER/ManualofPoliciesProcedures/UCM218757.pdf Accessed: October 11, 2017.

2 World Cancer Research Fund International. Breast Cancer Statistics. http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/breast-cancer-statistics. Accessed: October 11, 2017.

3 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and-figures-2017.pdf. Accessed: October 11, 2017.

4 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: October 11, 2017.

5 Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. 13 Facts about Metastatic Breast Cancer. http://www.mbcn.org/13-facts-about-metastatic-breast-cancer/. Accessed: October 11, 2017.

6 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: October 11, 2017.

7 Verzenio [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly and Company; 2017.

SOURCE: Eli Lilly

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