Earlier in the week, ImClone Systems
The study, completed by ImClone's European marketing partner Merck KGaA, tested Erbitux as a front-line treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent.
In the study, Erbitux increased overall survival versus patients treated only with chemotherapy. Aside from announcing that Erbitux met this primary endpoint, no study data was released, as the companies are waiting to present it "at an upcoming medical conference."
NSCLC represents a large market opportunity for Erbitux. Currently, Iressa from AstraZeneca
Erbitux isn't the only exciting potential NSCLC compound in development. Exelixis
The end of 2006 was a bad time for ImClone. A new competitor -- Amgen's
ImClone has experienced mostly the opposite case in 2007. In January, it announced that Erbitux was successful in a study as a treatment for front-line metastatic colorectal cancer, it has made good progress in advancing its pipeline drugs through the clinic, and now it has this lung cancer study that will help it expand the on-label usage of Erbitux.
Despite an earlier failure with Erbitux in extending progression-free survival in another phase 3 NSCLC study and a failed pancreatic cancer study, the turnaround this year continues for ImClone.