May 10 Eli Lilly and Co said it will end
development of an experimental cancer drug after it failed in a
late-stage trial to delay a worsening of symptoms in patients
The drug, enzastaurin, was being tested in lymphoma patients
who were at high risk of relapse following chemotherapy
treatment. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system.
The decision to stop the drug's development will result in a
second-quarter charge of about $30 million, but the company's
2013 forecast remained unchanged, Lilly said in a statement on
Lilly over the past decade has also tested the pill against
a variety of other types of tumors, without success, including
lung cancer and breast cancer. Its main remaining focus has been
Cowen and Co had expected Lilly to seek marketing approval
for the medicine this year as a lymphoma treatment, and for it
to generate annual sales by 2016 of about $200 million, if
approved for the condition. That would have made it a fairly
modest product for Lilly.
Approval would have given a boost to Lilly's cancer program.
The company's third-biggest medicine is Alimta, a treatment for
lung cancer that pulls in $2.5 billion a year, but it could face
generic competition in the United States by 2016.
Lilly on Friday said it continues with late-stage trials of
two other experimental cancer drugs.
Lilly shares were little changed in morning trading.