Results, Setbacks

Acceleron scraps dalantercept after it flunks a PhII test for kidney cancer

Habib Dable, CEO

Acceleron will not be getting any help from dalantercept as it works to build confidence in its pipeline.

The Cambridge, MA-based biotech says their angiogenesis drug flopped in a Phase II study for kidney cancer that enrolled 131 patients. Not only was their no significant improvement in progression-free survival for their drug combined with axitinib, versus the standard of care alone, the confirmed objective response rate was a little lower for Acceleron’s drug — 19% compared to 25% for the control arm.

That left little room for enthusiasm, and the biotech says it will now halt the program and kick this drug out of the pipeline, focusing on its more closely watched drug, luspatercept, partnered with Celgene and now in pivotal trials in myelodysplastic syndromes and beta-thalassemia.

Acceleron’s stock $XLRN slid only 6% on the news, a reflection — perhaps — of some waning enthusiasm that execs have exhibited for this therapy to some top analysts recently.

Says CEO Habib Dable:

“We remain focused on the development of luspatercept across multiple Phase III and Phase II studies and ACE-083 across two neuromuscular diseases, and will continue to pursue additional candidates in areas of high unmet medical need.”


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