Double Whammy: Two Big Cancer Drugs Fail Trials

pillsIn recent years, big pharma companies have put more targeted cancer drugs into trials than ever before. These drugs aim to target one or more defective growth my promoting genes inside tumour cells.

Two big cancer drugs from leading pharmaceutical giants, Roche and Pfizer have failed their late stage trials.

1.       Roche’s Avastin failed in a giant trial of prostate cancer patients.

Roche’s drug Avastin performed well in the ovarian cancer studies but unfortunately failed to meet its endpoint in a gastric-cancer trial. Had the drug beat prostate cancer in this latest study, it was expected to add somewhere between 500 million and 1 billion Swiss francs, or $471 million to $943 million, potentially cutting sales forecasts by 2%. Roche will now be studying Avastin in earlier stages of the disease and in other tumour types.

2.       Pfizer’s kidney drug Sutent flopped against breast cancer in two separate studies.

Pfizer stopped a trial of the drug in advanced colon cancer. One of the new studies looked at Sutent as a first-line treatment with chemo in patients with HER-2 negative breast cancer. The other focused on patients who had been previously treated. In neither case did the drug significantly improve progression-free survival. Pfizer will continue to research Sutent as a treatment for solid tumours such as prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and others.

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