Tyme flops on cancer drug data; Lilly IND filing triggers $8M payment to partner Zymeworks

Tyme Technologies on Friday touted “substantially improved survival benefit” from its experimental drug SM-88 in a single arm study in advanced pancreatic cancer patients with progression despite treatment with at least two prior therapies, but investors did not buy into the company’s enthusiasm, causing the stock $TYME to crater about 36%. The trial was designed to enroll 115 patients, including 36 patients in the initial stage of the trial, according to, and the primary endpoint of the study is response rate — suggesting Tyme was being misleading about the “survival benefit” it was brandishing. The company elected to highlight that 68% of patients treated with SM-88, (19 of 28) remained alive after a median of 4.3 months of follow-up. But, only 17 patients had undergone tumor scans, and the response rate, that would come from tumor scans, was revealed much lower down in the release — 12% of patients (2 out of 17) saw tumor reductions of more than 30%. As pointed out by STAT’s Matthew Herper, the study raised important red flags, most importantly that it was impossible to conclude survival benefit based on the available data.

Zymeworks has collected $8 million in milestone payments as Eli Lilly submits an IND for an immuno-oncology bispecific antibody developed on its platform — the second within a six-month period, the company highlights. The partners’ licensing and collaboration agreement date back to 2014.

→ Pulling off the biggest biotech IPO ($604 million) of 2018 was enough for Moderna $MRNA president John Mendlein, who is transitioning to the role of executive partner at Flagship Pioneering.  

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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