Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH is making its debut in the U.S. cancer market with an EGFR inhibitor that will go head to head with Tarceva - a drug doctors have used for years that is marketed by cancer giant Genentech Inc. and its partners.

Boehringer says the robustness of its Phase III study of Gilotrif afatinib and marketing that emphasizes first-line use in non-small cell lung cancer can drive acceptance for patients with specific mutations.