The U.S. FDA approved Lilly’s Portrazza (necitumumab) in combination with two forms of chemotherapy to treat patients with advanced (metastatic) squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have not previously received medication specifically for treating their advanced lung cancer.  Portrazza is a monoclonal antibody that blocks activity of EGFR, a protein commonly found on squamous NSCLC tumors.  It has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., with an estimated 221,200 new diagnoses and 158,040 deaths in 2015.  The most common type of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, is further divided into two main types named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer – squamous cell and non-squamous cell.  Metastatic squamous NSCLC is a difficult-to-treat form of lung cancer with few treatment options.