Boehringer Ingelheim's cancer drug may be 'next generation' treatment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. Data from a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational drug by Boehringer Ingelheim could show that the drug is a “next generation” treatment for cancers of the lungs, head and neck, BI said Friday.

The German drug maker plans to present results of a phase 3 trial of BIBW 2992 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, which will take place between June 4 and 8.

BIBW 2992 is a pharmaceutical drug that targets the epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal receptor 2, also known as EGFR and HER2. Both are proteins that are known to promote the growth of cancer cells. BI said the drug shrank tumors in 22% of head and neck cancer patients, compared with 13% among those taking Eli Lilly’s and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Erbitux (cetuximab).

The company also reported that the drug showed “significant” ability to fight tumors in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, and that 61% of patients with EGFR mutations had significant tumor shrinkage.

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