Eli Lilly Expands Cancer Collaboration with Merck

Eli Lilly said pre-market Wednesday it has expanded an existing immuno-oncology collaboration with Merck to include a new phase 1 study that combines Lilly’s Lartruvo (olaratumbab) with Merck’s Keytruda in patients with previously treated advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma. Shares of MRK were up almost 2% while LLY was inactive in recent pre-market.

Eli Lilly said it will act as the sponsor of the phase 1 study with enrollment slated to begin in mid-2017. Financial details of the collaboration weren’t disclosed.

“This collaborative study builds on the exciting data we have seen with olaratumab and supports our focus on investigating the potential of rational combinations to enhance efficacy and change the standards of care for people with cancer,” said Lilly Oncology senior vice president Susan Mahony.

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