An experimental cancer drug developed by Eli Lilly and Co significantly improved survival rates in lung cancer patients. The drug has already been shown to be successful in treating stomach cancer. Ramucirumab works by blocking angiogenesis, the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors. Lilly acquired Ramucirumab through its 2008 purchase of ImClone Systems Inc.
The clinical trial called REVEL compared a combination of ramucirumab and a common chemotherapy drug, docetaxel, with a combination of a placebo and docetaxel in treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Ramucirumab significantly improved overall survival rates as well as improving survival rates without the cancer worsening. Eli Lilly may submit the drug to the FDA for approval later this year.