A transatlantic biotech flags a painful PhIII cancer flop, waving a white flag
More than 4 years after little Erytech inflated some rare passion for its stock with upbeat Phase IIb data for their lead drug in pancreatic cancer, they’ve let the air out of the party balloons.
The transatlantic biotech $ERYP put the word out Monday morning that its drug eryaspase flopped in a Phase III pivotal for second line metastatic pancreatic cancer, slamming its stock, which plunged more than 30%.
It was a bad failure right down the line, though the execs did what they could to focus on any evidence of success.
On the primary endpoint regarding a comparison of their drug against chemo alone, the hazard ratio came in at a dismal 0.92 with a p-value of 0.375. Adding the drug to gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel didn’t succeed, but investigators latched on to a “nominal” advantage among one subgroup of patients.
“I…want to add that the results in the subgroup of fluoropyrimidine-based treatments are, with a median survival of 8 months, really remarkable and merit further investigation. Especially since this was also the better subgroup in the Phase IIb trial,” said Manuel Hidalgo, the co-principal investigator of the study.
It wouldn’t appear that Erytech, though, will be doing any of that suggested work. The biotech notes that it will focus on an attempt to win an OK for acute lymphoblastic leukemia with Phase II data while examining its “strategic and partnering alternatives, including for the further development and commercialization of eryaspase.”