Myriad also has a very full program of anti-cancer drugs, spearheaded by Azixa, which is three Phase 2 studies for glioblastoma multiforme, melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. To remind you, Azixa binds very potently to tubulin and inhibits both cell division and disrupts the neovasculature which supplies tumors with blood and oxygen. It also has the unique ability to cross the blood/brain barrier and in animals showed 14 to 15 times more drug in the brains than in the periphery. Phase 1 studies successfully identified a maximum tolerated dose and showed some anti-cancer activity in a number of different tumors, including melanoma and non-small cell lung cancers. Unfortunately, it is too early to be able to make any statements of our progress in these trails. But again, I hope to be able to share some information in future conference calls.
William T. Ho - Bank of America Securities And just a follow-up question on Azixa. I know there is some anecdotal evidence, as Adrian had mentioned, that you hope that the outcome would be positive. But quite obviously, you have various investor basis from... due to the two sides of your business. Can you discuss a little bit as to what would your plans be should the outcome fail and would those expenses continue or what can investors look towards?
Peter D. Meldrum - President and Chief Executive Officer I think it's important to note that the company has seven clinical trials ongoing. And we have very exciting drugs from Vivecon to Azixa to Flurizan in clinical studies. And as Adrian mentioned, MPC-3100, a very exciting cancer drug, should be moved into the clinic this year. So we have a very strong commitment to the pharmaceutical side of the company. And if any one drug fails, then we have five or six other drugs that we are moving forward toward regulatory approval. So we realize that this is a risky business and that it's difficult to develop new pharmaceutical products. And I don't think the company is going to be overly discouraged if one of the drugs doesn't sell. On the same time, we are not going to stay married to a drug. So if a drug doesn't work well and we don't have a good reason to believe that doing additional studies would change that outcome, we will abandon those drugs very quickly and focus on the ones that we think have greater promise. But we do have a strong commitment to the pharmaceutical area, and the failure of a single trial is not going to discourage us from moving our other drug candidates toward regulatory approval.
William T. Ho - Bank of America Securities Okay. Thank you. Are there any updates as to potential timing for Azixa data?
Peter D. Meldrum - President and Chief Executive Officer Not really. Understand that Azixa is an adapted design. So there is no set time or study period and there is no set number of patients that we enroll in Azixa. Also, appreciate that because it's a three arm study, we have to do a stage one before we actually start the full scale Phase 2 study where we determine the maximum tolerated dose of the combination of Azixa and the other drug that is being used in the study. So I would not expect really any significant data on Azixa in this calendar year. I am really looking toward 2009 for the Azixa results.
Thanks for that. It's pretty non-commital. They still say they're excited about it and that it has very unusual properties, so I think it would be wrong to take the speculation on negative outcomes too seriously. Not a lot has changed. Nothing much can have happened since they haven't dosed their first patient in the phase 2 trials yet.
seems to me that they are being very careful to line up their ducks before dosing the first Ph2. While it hurts us to wait, it's definitely the best thing for the long run to ensure success of their trials.
I thought the response to this question at the end was a little strange...
"William T. Ho - Bank of America Securities And just a follow-up question on Azixa. I know there is some anecdotal evidence, as Adrian had mentioned, that you hope that the outcome would be positive. But quite obviously, you have various investor basis from... due to the two sides of your business. Can you discuss a little bit as to what would your plans be should the outcome fail and would those expenses continue or what can investors look towards?"
It's a follow-up question on Azixa and the response has to do with dropping a drug if it is failing. ?? It's not really negative but it's nothing EPCT Nation can cheer about.
Like I mentioned before, I didn't take anything postive away from this CC...still waiting for some actual news from EPCT(preferably good news, natch).