Boston Bio­med­ical's lead drug fiz­zles in dif­fi­cult-to-treat pan­cre­at­ic can­cer

Months af­ter a com­bi­na­tion of Cel­gene’s Abrax­ane and the chemother­a­py gem­c­itabine stum­bled in a piv­otal study in­volv­ing pan­cre­at­ic can­cer pa­tients who had un­der­gone sur­gi­cal re­sec­tion, a late-stage study test­ing Boston Bio­med­ical’s na­pabu­casin in pa­tients with metasta­t­ic pan­cre­at­ic duc­tal ade­no­car­ci­no­ma — the most com­mon type of pan­cre­at­ic can­cer — has been dis­con­tin­ued.

Pan­cre­at­ic can­cer is rel­a­tive­ly rare but no­to­ri­ous­ly lethal. It is cur­rent­ly the third lead­ing cause of can­cer deaths in the Unit­ed States — and is pro­ject­ed to move in­to the sec­ond slot by 2020, ac­cord­ing to the Memo­r­i­al Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter. It is a field lit­tered with drug tri­al fail­ure.

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