Boehringer IngelheimBoehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced a new collaboration on a Phase 1b study that will evaluate the safety and tolerability of BI 836845, Boehringer Ingelheim's insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1/IGF-2 ligand neutralising antibody, in combination with abemaciclib (LY2835219), Lilly’s cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 and 6 inhibitor, in patients diagnosed with HR+/HER2- mBC. Based on the Phase 1b trial results, the collaboration has the potential to expand to Phase 2 trials in patients with HR+/HER2- mBC and other solid tumours. Enrolment is scheduled to begin in late 2016 and Boehringer Ingelheim will be the sponsor of the study programme.

"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 3 development programme underway," said Richard Gaynor, M.D., senior vice president, product development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology. "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."

Dr. Mehdi Shahidi, Medical Head, Solid Tumour Oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim commented, "Boehringer Ingelheim is excited about initiating this collaboration with Lilly to investigate a novel combination of two compounds that have individually shown promising results in metastatic breast cancer and have a complementary mode of action. We hope that this study will lay foundations for making much needed new therapies available to patients with metastatic breast cancer."

Boehringer Ingelheim's BI 836845 is an IGF ligand-neutralising antibody that binds to both IGF-1 and IGF-2 preventing activation of the respective receptor resulting in decreased growth-promoting signalling, which may decrease tumour growth. In a Phase Ib/II trial BI 836845 has shown promising preliminary efficacy and good clinical safety in combination with everolimus and exemestane in patients with HR+ mBC.(1) Lilly's abemaciclib is designed to block the growth of cancer cells by specifically inhibiting CDK 4 and 6. In many cancers, uncontrolled cell growth arises from a loss of control in regulating the cell cycle due to increased signalling from CDK 4 and 6.

The rationale for the collaboration is based upon the hypothesis that these two agents, in combination, could offer a more complete pathway interference and could potentially prolong cell cycle arrest. For HR+/HER2- mBC patients, this could translate to a reversal of resistance to hormone therapy.

About Metastatic Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012.(2) In the U.S. this year, approximately 246,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 40,450 women will die from breast cancer.(3) Of all early stage breast cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S., approximately 30 percent will become metastatic, spreading to other parts of the body, with an estimated six to 10 percent of all new breast cancer cases initially being stage IV, or metastatic.(4) Approximately 75% of breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive and are typically managed with endocrine therapies, including aromatase inhibitors and selective oestrogen receptor modulators.(5) Metastatic breast cancer is considered incurable, but is generally treatable.

About BI 836845
BI 836845 is an investigational compound in Phase II clinical development. It is a humanised antibody that binds to insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signalling pathways, which may play a role in the development or spread of cancer by providing a growth mechanism for tumours. BI 836845 specifically binds to IGF-1 and IGF-2. It is being studied in combination with other agents for use in patients with advanced solid tumours.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally through 145 affiliates and a total of some 47,500 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social projects through, for example, the initiative "Making More Health" while also caring for employees. Respect, equal opportunity and reconciling career and family form the foundation of mutual cooperation. The company also focuses on environmental protection and sustainability in everything it does.

In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of net sales.

1. Cortes J et al. Phase 1b/2 trial of BI 836845, an insulin-like growth factor (IGF) ligand-neutralizing antibody, combined with exemestane (Ex) and everolimus (Ev) in hormone receptor-positive (HR+) locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer (BC): primary phase 1b results. J Clin Oncol 34, 2016 (suppl; abstr 530)
2. World Cancer Research Fund International. Breast Cancer. Accessed: May 3, 2016.
3. American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics about breast cancer? Accessed: May 3, 2016.
4. Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. 13 Facts about Metastatic Breast Cancer. Accessed: May 3, 2016.
5. Hortobagyi GN. Everolimus plus exemestane for the treatment of advanced breast cancer: a review of subanalyses from BOLERO-2. Neoplasia. 2015; 17:279-8