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

to affect a cancer cell signaling pathway initiated by the Hedgehog (Hh) protein, which is essential for regulating normal cell differentiation and proliferation.  Abnormal Hh signaling has been implicated in several types of cancer, including brain, lung, breast, prostate and skin cancers.  Abnormal Hh pathway activation can result from genetic mutations in the pathway's protein components.

One such protein component, known as Smoothened (Smo), is a key regulator of the Hh signaling pathway and is seen as a potential target for therapies aimed at treating cancer by halting abnormal Hh signaling.

Lilly scientists have identified that Lilly's Hedgehog inhibitor is a small molecule antagonist of Smo, binding to it and inhibiting Hh signaling in a human medulloblastoma tumor cell.  (Medulloblastoma is the most commonly diagnosed form of brain tumor in children, but is rare in adults.(1))  In addition, when the compound was orally administered to transgenic mice that spontaneously develop medulloblastoma, it improved animal survival.

Lilly's Hedgehog inhibitor is currently being studied in Phase I clinical trials for solid tumors.

About Preclinical Data

The compounds discussed in this press release are investigational. Their safety and efficacy in humans have not been established.

About Lilly Oncology

For more than four decades, Lilly Oncology, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, has been dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that improve the care of people living with cancer.  Because no two cancer patients are alike, Lilly Oncology is committed to developing novel treatment approaches.  To learn more about Lilly's commitment to cancer, please visit www.LillyOncology.com.  

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharma
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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