The European Commission has green-lighted the use of Eli Lilly’s Cyramza as a treatment for patients with a certain type of lung cancer, as well as for some patients with colorectal cancer.

The drug has been approved in combination with docetaxel for adults with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with disease progression after platinum-based chemotherapy. 

For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, Cyramza (ramucirumab) can be administered alongside the FOLFIRI regimen (irinotecan, folinic acid and 5 floururacil) if there is disease progression on or after treatment with Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab), oxaliplatin and a flouropyrimidine.

Clinical data showed that the drug, given alongside docetaxel, helped extend survival by an average of 1.4 months in around half of the NSCLC patients treated with the combination, compared to half of those docetaxel plus a placebo. 

Colorectal cancer patients treated with the Cyramza/FOLFIRI regimen achieved a median overall survival of 13.3 months versus those given placebo/FOLFIRI who achieved 11.7 months, cutting the risk of patient death by 15%.

“Lung and colorectal cancer are the two top leading causes of cancer deaths in the EU and, despite treatment advances, there continues to be a significant need for new second-line treatment options for people with these types of cancer,” noted Richard Gaynor, product development and medical affairs lead at the firm, highlighting the unmet need.

Cyramza was first approved in Europe as a treatment for advanced gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma back in December 2014.