Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) and Boehringer Ingelheim will collaborate on the Phase Ib trial to evaluate the combination of abemaciclib (LY2835219) and BI 836845 to treat metastatic breast cancer.
Lilly's abemaciclib (LY2835219) is an investigational, orally-administered product that inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases CDK 4 and CDK 6, thereby preventing the growth of cancer cells.
Boehringer's BI 836845 is an antibody that neutralises insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 / IGF-2 ligand.
Lilly oncology product development and medical affairs senior vice-president Richard Gaynor said: "We are pleased to join with Boehringer Ingelheim to study the potential of their molecule in combination with Lilly's abemaciclib, for which we have an active Phase III development programme underway.
"For patients living with metastatic breast cancer, the limited treatment options available make this an important area of focus for our efforts to advance the most innovative treatments."
While abemaciclib blocks CDK 4 and CDK 6 from triggering the growth of cancerous cells, BI 836845 binds to both IGF-1 and IGF-2, subsequently blocking activation of the respective receptor and resulting in decreased growth-promoting signalling, which may inhibit tumour growth.
The combination of abemaciclib and BI 836845 is expected to offer a complete pathway interference and inhibit growth of the cancerous cell cycle.
Subject to the Phase Ib trial results, the companies are intending to initiate Phase II trials of the combination for patients with HR+, HER2- metastatic breast cancer (mBC) and other solid tumours.