AbbVie cancer drug fails two late-stage trials

Abbvie's shares were marginally down after the bell on Wednesday


April 20, 2017
A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: REUTERS

AbbVie Inc said on Wednesday that its experimental cancer drug, veliparib, failed to meet the main goals of two late-stage studies.

The trials evaluated the effect of veliparib, in combination with a chemotherapy regimen, on patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and triple-negative breast cancer.

In one trial, the combination treatment failed to improve the overall survival of NSCLC patients, who had smoked within the past 12 months and had more than 100 smoking events in their lifetime.

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In another trial, which evaluated the treatment on patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer, the drug did not achieve the complete pathologic response.

Veliparib belongs to a closely watched class of new medicines called PARP inhibitors, which block enzymes involved in repairing damaged DNA, thereby helping to kill cancer cells.

The only approved drugs in the class include AstraZeneca Plc's Lynparza, also known as olaparib, and Tesaro Inc's niraparib.

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Tesaro's niraparib won the US Food and Drug Administration's approval for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer late in March this year.

Other experimental PARP inhibitors include Clovis Oncology Inc's rucaparib and Pfizer Inc's talazoparib.

Abbvie's shares were marginally down after the bell on Wednesday.

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