Mateon punts failed late-stage cancer drug, axes staffers; Medivir boosted by osteoarthritis data

⇨ The penny stock biotech Mateon Therapeutics $MATN, formerly OxiGene, says it is scrapping a Phase II/III ovarian cancer study of CA4P in combination with Avastin after a recent futility announcement. The biotech says it will now shelve the drug and needs to ax 60% of its staff while senior execs take a 50% pay cut to preserve capital as they shift focus to another therapy in the pipeline.

⇨ Just a few days after seeing its stock price take a hit on J&J’s decision to scrap a late-stage hep C cocktail which it had contributed to, Medivir $MVIR got a boost from positive top line data for MIV-711 in patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis.

 Novo Nordisk says that regulators in China have OK’d the sale of its drug Tresiba. The long-acting insulin can now be marketed in what Novo calls the biggest single diabetes market in the world.

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