Lilly reports lackluster PhIII results on cancer drug

Eli Lilly ($LLY) has gambled big on the stomach cancer drug ramucirumab, mounting six Phase III studies on the treatment as it scrambles to advance new drugs to replace the blockbusters losing patent protection. And today its researchers spelled out some early Phase III results, with data demonstrating a median overall survival time of 5.2 months compared to the 3.8 months seen in a control arm. As Lilly already noted, the data meets its interpretation for statistical significance, but Reuters also adds that a number of analysts were looking for at least a two-month spread in the data to highlight efficacy. The marginal gains seen in OS data were also reflected in the progression-free survival stats: 2.1 months among the drug arm and 1.3 months for the placebo group. Lilly says it may submit the drug for approval this year, but even with an FDA OK the data is not likely to prove persuasive with payers. Story