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Erasca, Eli Lilly Partner to Study ERAS-007, Erbitux in BRAF V600E-Mutant Colorectal Cancer

NEW YORK – Erasca on Thursday said it is studying its ERK inhibitor ERAS-007 in combination with Eli Lilly's EGFR-inhibiting monoclonal antibody Erbitux (cetuximab) in BRAF V600E-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer.

Under the collaboration, Lilly will supply Erbitux at no cost for the ongoing Phase Ib/II HERKULES-3 trial, in which Erasca is exploring the ability of its lead product candidate, ERAS-007, to treat metastatic colorectal cancer when combined with other marketed drugs. The trial is sponsored by Erasca, but the two companies will form a joint committee to review the clinical trial results.

The trial will enroll up to 200 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with a range of MAPK pathway mutations, including BRAF V600E, KRAS, or NRAS mutations.

Last year, Erasca inked a similar collaboration with Pfizer to get access to its CDK4/6 inhibitor Ibrance (palbociclib) and BRAF inhibitor Braftovi (encorafenib).

"We expect the long-term benefits seen with current standard of care may be limited due to resistance mechanisms, particularly through MAPK reactivation," Erasca CEO Jonathan Lim said in a statement, adding that preclinical data makes the company confident that ERAS-007's mechanism of action can inhibit reactivation of the MAPK pathway better than currently available MEK and ERK inhibitors.

San Diego-based Erasca is also studying ERAS-007 in combination with AstraZeneca's Tagrisso (osimertinib) in advanced EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer, in combination with Amgen's Lumakras (sotorasib) in KRAS-mutant NSCLC, and as a single agent in RAS/MAPK-altered solid tumors.