Eli Lilly’s Verzenio Treatment Lowers Breast Cancer Recurrence By 25%

Eli Lilly & Co said that the late-stage trial of its Verzenio treatment showed to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 25%.

Lilly (LLY) said that Verzenio in combination with standard adjuvant endocrine therapy (ET) significantly lowered the risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to standard adjuvant ET alone for people with hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) high risk early breast cancer.

Th results are based on the Phase 3 monarchE trial evaluating the effects of 2 years of Verzenio treatment added to ET. Lilly plans to submit the monarchE data to regulatory authorities before the end of 2020.

“We are excited that Verzenio has demonstrated a clinically meaningful reduction in the risk of recurrence for people with HR+, HER2- high risk early breast cancer,” said Maura Dickler at Lilly Oncology. “The results on invasive disease-free survival are significant and provide hope for people with high risk early breast cancer living with concerns of recurrence. Lilly will submit these results to regulatory bodies around the world as soon as possible and we look forward to being able to offer Verzenio as a new treatment option for these patients. We are proud of the way monarchE builds on the vast body of clinical evidence established for Verzenio.”

The monarchE trial enrolled 5,637 patients with HR+, HER2- high risk early breast cancer from more than 600 sites in 38 countries. High risk was defined by cancer that spread to the lymph nodes, a large tumor size, or high cellular proliferation. Patients were treated for a 2-year period or until meeting criteria for discontinuation. After the treatment period, all patients will continue ET for 5 to 10 years.

The addition of Verzenio to ET also resulted in an improvement in distant relapse-free survival, or the time to developing cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. The combination reduced the risk of developing metastatic disease by 28% with the largest reductions occurring in rates of metastases to the liver and bone, the company added.

Shares in LLY are up more than 17% year-to-date and the stock scores a bullish Strong Buy Street consensus. That’s with a $173.75 average analyst price target, indicating 13% upside potential lies ahead.

Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger recently raised the stock to Buy from Hold and ramped up the price target to $176 from $157, citing long-term growth prospects, positive Phase 3 tirzepatide results starting in 4Q and a rise in positive sentiment for its Alzheimer’s pipeline. (See Eli Lilly’s stock analysis on TipRanks).

“Lilly’s Alzheimer’s pipeline represents an inexpensive call option, in our view,” Risinger wrote in a note to investors.

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