Lilly, OncoMed Partner

Eli Lilly and company and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing therapeutics that target cancer stem cells (CSCs), or tumor-initiating cells, have formed an agreement to test demcizumab, OncoMed’s anti-DLL4 antibody, in combination with Lilly’s Alimta (pemetrexed for injection) and carboplatin for the treatment of first-line advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Under the terms of this agreement, Lilly will provide clinical supply of Alimta for OncoMed’s ongoing Phase II trial.

OncoMed initiated enrollment in the randomized Phase II trial in January 2015 to test the efficacy and safety of demcizumab in combination with Alimta and carboplatin. Alimta is approved as an initial treatment in combination with cisplatin for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC for patients with non-squamous histology. The DENALI trial is expected to enroll approximately 200 patients with first-line metastatic Stage IV non-squamous NSCLC whose tumors do not have an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutation.

Demcizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits Delta-Like Ligand 4 (DLL4) in the Notch signaling pathway. Based on preclinical studies, demcizumab appears to have a multi-pronged mechanism of action: halting cancer stem cell growth and reducing CSC frequency, disrupting angiogenesis in the tumor and potentially augmenting anti-tumor immune response. Demcizumab is part of OncoMed’s collaboration with Celgene Corporation.

Source: OncoMed Pharmaceuticals

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