Pfizer ends late-stage lung-cancer study

 @ibtimes on December 29 2009 6:14 PM

* Analysis showed it would miss main goal

* Followed enrollment halt earlier this year

* Involved experimental drug figitumumab

NEW YORK, Dec 29 - Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said on Tuesday it has ended a late-stage lung cancer study of its experimental drug figitumumab after an analysis showed it was unlikely to meet the main goal of improving overall survival.

The analysis by an independent safety monitors found that adding figitumumab to two older therapies -- paclitaxel and carboplatin -- would be unlikely to meet the main goal, compared to paclitaxel plus carboplatin alone.

The study's end comes after Pfizer said in October that it halted patient enrollment in the clinical trial for safety reasons; the independent monitors had found more serious adverse events, including deaths, with patients receiving figitumumab.

While these findings are disappointing, Pfizer is committed to using information gained from this study to refine the design of future trials of figitumumab in non-small cell lung cancer, Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs for Pfizer's oncology business unit, said in a statement.

Investors' enthusiasm for figitumumab had already been dampened following the enrollment halt. Leerink Swann analyst Seamus Fernandez had forecast global revenue of $1.2 billion in 2015 for the drug, but removed potential sales from his financial models following the halt.

Another lung cancer study evaluating figitumumab in combination with Roche (ROG.VX) and OSI Pharmaceuticals' (OSIP.O) Tarceva is ongoing, Pfizer said. The drug is also being tested as a potential treatment for other cancers, including prostate and breast cancers, and Ewing's sarcoma.

Pfizer shares were down 4 cents at 18.52 in after hours trading. They earlier closed down 7 cents at $18.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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