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Verastem Falls on Halted Phase 2 Enrollment

Chris Lange

To start off the week, Verastem Inc. (VSTM) watched its shares take a beating on Monday morning surrounding an enrollment halt. The company announced that it has stopped enrollment in its Phase 2 study of VS-6063 for patients with mesothelioma. The decision to stop enrollment for futility followed a Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) review of a pre-planned interim analysis.

The results of the analysis demonstrated that VS-6063 had a generally well-tolerated safety profile but that there was not a sufficient level of efficacy to warrant continuation of the study.

Verastem is a company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells.

Lou Vaickus, M.D. FACP, interim chief medical officer, commented on the announcement:

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is among the most aggressive and lethal cancers with only one approved therapy. With the aggressiveness of this disease, the use of single agent VS-6063 as a maintenance treatment following chemotherapy where all patients had residual disease was not sufficient. There remains a significant unmet medical need for new treatment options for patients suffering from this very complex, difficult-to-treat cancer.

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Robert Forrester, president and CEO of Verastem, added:

We have stopped further enrollment and initiated an orderly wind-down of the Command study. We are disappointed with the Command outcome, but we are deeply grateful for the support and commitment from the patients participating in the study, their families, and the study investigators. Based on these results, we will reevaluate our clinical priorities and direct our resources toward further development of VS-6063, VS-4718, and VS-5584.

So far 2015 has not been a good year for Verastem as shares have underperformed the market. Year to date, shares were down 38% before this drop.

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Shares of Verastem closed Friday down 2.4%, at $5.67 in a 52-week trading range of $4.35 to $12.35. In early trading indications on Monday, shares were down 53% at $2.65. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $19.00.

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