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Athenex, Lilly to collaborate on cancer-drug trial

Athenex, the Buffalo-based cancer-drug company, on Friday announced a collaboration with the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company.

The companies will conduct a clinical trial to assess the safety of oraxol, Athenex’s oral form of paclitaxel, in combination with Lilly’s cancer medicine Cyramza, or ramucirumab, in patients with advanced stomach and esophageal cancer.

The teams conducting the phase 1b trial expect to start enrolling patients next year in this country and Asia. Athenex will sponsor the trial and Lilly will supply the Cyramza.

Athenex, founded in 2003, has offices in Buffalo, Newstead and elsewhere in the United States and Asia. The state has agreed to spend $225 million to build high-tech facilities in Buffalo and Dunkirk for the company, which in return committed to creating 1,400 direct and in-direct jobs.

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