Japan's Eisai to present papers on Lenvima clinical data at European Cancer Congress

Eisai's Tokyo, Japan headquarters--Courtesy of Arthena, CC BY-SA 3.0

Japan's Eisai said it will present a series of clinical results on Lenvima (lenvatinib) and Halaven (eribulin), among other papers, at the European Cancer Congress, as the company works to grow its key oncology business.

The presentations are due at the meeting in Vienna held from Sept. 25-29 that include an oral update for lenvatinib on the overall survival gain in a Phase III clinical study on radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer, the company said in a press release.

Additionally, Eisai will update on an analysis of serum biomarkers and clinical outcomes in a Phase II study in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma for eribulin. Currently, approval applications of an additional indication for eribulin as a treatment for soft tissue sarcoma are undergoing regulatory review in Japan, the United States and Europe, the release said.

In July, Eisai said it hoped for a solid launch for Lenvima, with Ivan Cheung, deputy president of the company's global oncology business, telling Bloomberg that the plan is to roll out the thyroid cancer treatment in more than 20 countries by next March, treating 2,500 patients around the world if all goes well.

Lenvima was approved by the FDA in February and by Japanese regulators in April, marking a bright spot for the company which has struggled since falling off the patent cliff in 2010, when its blockbuster Alzheimer's med Aricept lost patent protection.

But the oncology efforts are forecast by Eisai at $1 billion by 2020 and put it on a collision course with Bayer's Nexavar, seen at $1.16 billion the same year. The sales target for Eisai also depend on whether new indications in lung, kidney and liver cancer help.

"Eisai positions oncology as a key franchise area," a statement in the release said. "The company will continue to create innovation in the development of new drugs based on cutting-edge cancer research, and in doing so seeks to make further contributions to address the diversified needs of, and increase the benefits provided to, patients and their families as well as healthcare providers."

- here's the release (PDF)