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Two Novel Lilly Molecules Target Genetic Mutations That Can Lead to Cancer
Date:4/4/2011

ORLANDO, Fla., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced results today from two preclinical studies of molecules that target genetic mutations and disable specific signaling pathways that can lead to cancer.  The studies evaluated two unique molecules – a JAK2 inhibitor and a Hedgehog inhibitor – with results presented during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 102nd Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.  

Signaling pathways within cells regulate genes that underlie crucial biological processes including cell division, embryonic development and immunity.  When these networks of proteins misfire, many types of cancer can result.  At AACR, data from Lilly showed how these pipeline molecules target out-of-control signaling pathways.

"Lilly is focused on developing therapies tailored for an individual patient's needs – such as a cancer treatment that targets a specific genetic mutation," said Jonathan M. Yingling, Ph.D., vice president of oncology research at Lilly.  "We believe beginning this evaluation early in the preclinical stage, as we have with these two studies, may lead to more focused, efficient clinical trials and, in turn, speed drug discovery."

LY2784544: JAK2 Inhibitor (Abstract # 2820)

Research presented at AACR's New Small Molecule Therapeutics mini-symposium suggested that the investigational compound LY2784544, a small-molecule JAK2 inhibitor, blocks a specific, difficult-to-isolate, signaling pathway that can lead to the development of cancer cells.  

Specifically, Lilly researchers chose to study inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cells because these cells support their own survival by secreting chemicals known as growth factors, which allow them to break away from the primary tumor, multiply and then cluster together into tumor sp
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