Lilly's stomach cancer drug meets main goal, but fails to improve survival rate

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly & Co said on Friday a late-stage trial testing its drug, Cyramza, as a gastric cancer treatment met the main goal of preventing the disease from advancing, but failed its secondary target of improving overall survival rates.

The company said it would not seek a regulatory approval based on the results.

The study tested Cyramza in combination with other drugs as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced forms of gastric cancer, which is estimated to result in the deaths of nearly 11,000 people in the United States this year.

Cyramza, which is being evaluated in lung and liver cancer patients, has previously failed studies testing it as a treatment for liver cancer and breast cancer.

The drug has been approved as a treatment for certain other cancers of the digestive tract and a type of lung cancer.

In May, Cyramza met the main goal of a trial testing it in patients with bladder cancer, but the drugmaker said overall survival results from that study would likely be required for global regulatory submissions.

Lilly acquired the drug when it outbid Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to buy ImClone Systems Inc for $6.5 billion in 2008.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva