R&D

After ovarian cancer flop, PharmaMar’s lurbinectedin makes the cut in small cell lung cancer

More than a year after its experimental drug, lurbinectedin, failed a late-stage test in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients, Spanish biotech PharmaMar on Monday said the agent met the main goal in patients with relapsed small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in a Phase II study.

The primary endpoint of the 105-patient trial was to measure the overall response rate, while secondary goals included progression-free survival and overall survival. Detailed study data will be provided at a future medical meeting, the company said.

Meanwhile, a late-stage study testing lurbinectedin in relapsed SCLC is already underway.

Lung cancer — which encompasses small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) — causes the highest number of cancer-related fatalities globally, the WHO estimates. SCLC, sometimes called oat cell cancer, account for 10% to 15% of all lung cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

PharmaMar’s drug is designed to inhibit RNA polymerase II, an enzyme key to the transcription process that is over-activated in certain tumors.

The Madrid-based company has a trifecta of oncology programs in clinic for solid cancers (lurbinectedin, PM184 and PM14) apart from Yondelis, an advanced soft-tissue sarcoma and ovarian cancer treatment that it sells in Europe.


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Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
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