September 12, 2014 / 12:46 PM / 6 years ago

Lilly stomach cancer drug prolongs life in colon cancer study

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co’s LLY.N Cyramza stomach-cancer drug prolonged survival of patients with advanced colon cancer in a late-stage study, the U.S. drugmaker said on Friday.

Based on favorable data from the Phase III study, Lilly said it would ask regulators in the first half of 2015 to approve Cyramza in patients with colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It plans to present detailed results from the trial at a scientific meeting next year.

The 1,000-patient global study, called RAISE, involved patients who had previously failed to adequately benefit from Roche Holding AG’s ROG.VX Avastin and other standard treatments.

Patients taking Cyramza along with chemotherapy showed a statistical improvement in survival, compared with those in the study who took a placebo and chemotherapy.

Cyramza, like Avastin, blocks a protein called VEGF that tumors create and use to form blood vessels that provide them nourishment.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April approved Cyramza for treatment of advanced stomach cancer. Cowen and Co expects the drug to garner annual sales of $1.2 billion by 2020 as a treatment of multiple types of cancer.

In a research note on Friday, JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott said he expected Cyramza sales to reach $1.35 billion in 2020, mostly from use against stomach cancer, but also from “modest” sales for lung cancer and a “limited contribution” from second-line treatment of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the world’s fourth leading cause of cancer deaths, having killed nearly 700,000 people in 2012, Lilly said.

Shares of the Indianapolis-based company edged up 1 cent to $65.19 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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