Pamela Goodwin, an oncologist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, is leading a trial in 3,582 breast-cancer patients at 300 locations. Data analysis from the five-year study may start in 2016 or 2017, according to Goodwin, who said she was ready to start on the research a decade ago, but lacked financial support from companies, including one that still had a patented version. She declined to identify the company.
“When they realized the results wouldn’t be available until they lost their patent, they pulled out,” said Goodwin, whose $25 million study is supported by the Canadian and U.S. governments as well as not-for-profit groups including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Cancer Research UK. Apotex Inc., a Toronto-based maker of generic medicines, is supplying metformin and a placebo used in the trial.
“All of the evidence has just become stronger while we waited,” said Goodwin, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.