Astex stops developing possible cancer treatment

Astex Pharma stops development of possible lung cancer treatment after mid-stage study

Associated Press

DUBLIN, Calif. (AP) -- Shares of Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. sank Friday after the drugmaker said it will stop clinical development of a potential treatment for a form of lung cancer.

The Dublin, Calif., company decided to discontinue the development of amuvatinib after the oral treatment missed a response-rate goal in an early study. The response rate measures patients who had either a complete or partial response to the drug, and researchers saw only two partial responses out of 21 patients.

Astex was studying the use of amuvatinib in an early mid-stage study that combined the drug with platinum etoposide to treat platinum refractory small cell lung cancer.

The company said it will consider licensing the compound to a development partner interested in studying it some more.

Company shares fell nearly 7 percent, or 23 cents, to $3.09 while broader trading indexes climbed slightly.

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