Onxeo shares blitzed after PhIII liver cancer study flops

Shares of Paris-based Onxeo were blitzed after the biotech reported that its Phase III cancer study had failed.

Studying Livatag (doxorubicine Transdrug) in comparison with best standard of care, researchers said that they could see no significant difference on survival scores among patients with inoperable liver cancer who were either intolerant to sorafenib or had progressed on sorafenib.

Onxeo tried hard to explain away the trouble, but its stock {Euronext Paris:ONXEO} plunged by more than half as investors bowed out of a messy situation.

Judith Greciet

The company said the study was scuttled by a high response in the comparative arm, then spotlighted that they weren’t using a placebo for the comparison. Then they noted that their drug did just as well as regorafenib in a recent study, while noting that you shouldn’t make comparisons on drug results when they aren’t matched up in the same trial.

“Once the Relive data are fully analyzed, we will reinitiate licensing discussion with potential partners based on key study outcomes to define the best path forward,” said Judith Greciet, the CEO of Onxeo. “As already announced, Onxeo will continue to advance its diversified pipeline of innovative assets in oncology. Refocusing our R&D activities on AsiDNA and Beleodaq should extend our financial visibility until early 2020.”

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