The Recentin med failed to meet its endpoint, so the lung cancer trial is over, but trials in colorectal cancer will continue ahead. The news is a partial setback, of course, and comes as AstraZeneca already faces a spotty record on getting new drugs through its pipeline.
Recentin, which is given as a pill, is a rival to Genentech's Avastin and was being tested against non-small-cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease, Reuters reminds us. In a statement, AstraZeneca says Recentin had shown some evidence of clinical activity in lung cancer but a Phase II/III trial would not progress into Phase III because among patients given the drug "there appeared to be an imbalance in toxicity."
John Patterson, AZ's executive director for development, is committed to investigating Recentin for lung cancer, despite the setback, which he says could be due to the dosage -a higher dose of Recentin was used in the lung cancer trial than in the colorectal trial. "It may well be that we simply haven't got the dosage right," he says. "Our belief is we can look again at the regime and the dosage we have used and this is certainly not the end. We've seen responses that make us feel we have a really active agent."
"Recentin was potentially a $1 billion product, so I think this is going to be quite disappointing for AstraZeneca," Navid Malik, an analyst at Collins Stewart, tells Reuters, noting that lung cancer was the potentially bigger market than colon cancer, where more competition exists. "AstraZeneca needs good news from the pipeline."