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Lilly plays up Cyramza's biomarker edge in crowded liver cancer field

May 13, 2019 / KYLE BLANKENSHIP

It’s been a long road for Eli Lilly’s Cyramza in liver cancer after it belly-flopped a phase 3 trial five years ago. On the back of a successful second attempt, the drugmaker has finally accomplished what once seemed out of reach—but these days, there's a lot more competition in the field than there used to be. Monday, the FDA approved Cyramza for the treatment of liver cancer patients who have failed on Bayer's Nexavar, and in that field, it'll go up against a range of big-name rivals. But unlike those rivals, Cyramza has a targeted green light, clearing it specifically to treat patients with high levels of the glycoprotein alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a biomarker that can lead to worse outcomes. It affects about 40% of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, Lilly said.

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