Erbitux, a product manufactured by Eli Lilly and Merck KGaA of Germany delayed the spread of breast cancer, when given in conjunction with cisplatin, by about two months in a study of women with metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) an aggressive breast tumor with few treatment options. Adding Erbitux to chemotherapy lengthened the time before progression from 1.5 months to 3.7 months according to a mid-stage Phase II study. Twenty percent of Erbitux patients saw their cancer shrink or disappear compared to ten percent of those on chemotherapy only. Erbitux is already approved for advanced colon cancer as well as head and neck tumors. In another finding relating to bowel cancer, the drug may not be effective with some oxaliplatin based chemotherapy combinations. To view a full press release from Reuters click here.
ImmunoGen, Inc. announced some encouraging clinical data for lorvotuzumab mertansine, a targeted anti cancer compound. Lorvotuzumab mertansine is designed to target and kill cancer cells that express CD56, a protein and uses ImmunoGen’s patented Targeted Antipbody Payload technology. This targeted compound (also called IMGN901) is a potential treatment for Merkel cell carcinoma, small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma, and other CD56+ tumors. The finding was from an early stage clinical trial, and will have to be followed up with further disease specific studies. To read more about this study click here.