Lilly Oncology, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, has released positive Phase II study results of its anti-cancer agent tasisulam in patients with metastatic melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

The study aimed to determine overall response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival.

Of the 68 patients enrolled, eight demonstrated partial response, 24 had stable disease (no progression after two cycles), 25 had progressive disease, and 11 did not show disease progression.

The median progression-free survival after taking the drug was 30 months while the overall survival was 9.6 months.

The US Food and Drug Administration granted Tasisulam orphan drug status for stage 2b-IV melanoma in late 2009.

Estimates indicate that more than 68,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma annually in the US.