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Eli Lilly & Co.’s Oncology Franchise

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Oncology franchise

Eli Lilly and Co.’s (LLY) Human Pharmaceuticals segment includes its Oncology franchise. Key drugs in this segment include Alimta, Erbitux, Cyramza, and Portrazza.

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Alimta

Alimta is a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Alimta’s sales fell ~14% to $541.6 million during 4Q16, compared to $627.2 million for 4Q15. This included a 5% decrease in the US market and an ~21% decrease in international sales.

Alimta lost its market share to competition from other immuno-oncology products in the US markets. Its international sales were impacted by the continuous uptake of the generic version, as well as lower average prices. Alimta has a competitor drug from Allergan (AGN).

Erbitux

Erbitux is a drug used in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, as well as head and neck cancer. Erbitux’s sales fell 13% to $153.7 million in 4Q16, compared to ~$176.2 million in 4Q15. Eli Lilly took back the commercialization rights for Erbitux in North America from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) on October 1, 2015.

Erbitux’s US revenues fell due to initial stocking and competition from other immune-oncology drugs. Erbitux competes with Roche’s (RHHBY) Avastin and Amgen’s (AMGN) Vectibix.

Other drugs

LLY’s Oncology franchise also includes Cyramza and Portrazza. Cyramza’s revenues rose 51% during 4Q16 following strong uptake in Japan and its launch in the European markets. Portrazza reported revenues of ~$4 million in 4Q16.

For broad-based industry exposure, investors can consider the PowerShares Dynamic Large Growth ETF (PWB) which invests 3.7% of its portfolio in Eli Lilly (LLY).

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