Drug Development

Momenta’s failed pancreatic cancer drug is given a midnight funeral

Pancreatic cancer has claimed another biotech victim. The tough oncology target proved resistant to Momenta Pharmaceuticals’ necuparanib at the halfway point in their Phase II study. And now the biotech $MNTA has decided to deep-six the drug and move on, according to an SEC filing.

Momenta’s 8-K, filed on Thursday, states:

After confirming the results of the futility analysis and reviewing the unblinded safety and efficacy data and the results of various sensitivity and subgroup analyses, the company decided to discontinue the necuparanib program.

The decision was made on August 22, 18 days after the flop was recorded.

Momenta’s research team had hoped that they had designed a drug that would skirt the kind of anti-coagulation issues that have plagued predecessors, while maintaining the anti-tumor punch. The biotech says that they did not identify any serious safety issues. Now they’ll need to wipe the slate clean on their most advanced novel drug.

Other recent failures for pancreatic cancer include programs for Aduro and Incyte.

The biotech has been pursuing new biosimilars, with a near term readout expected for its knockoff of Humira. Its collaboration with Baxalta has been picked up by Shire now and Momenta is also working with Mylan on other programs as well.

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