Aduro’s pancreatic cancer immunotherapy fails Phase II trials; shares plunge

pharmafile | May 17, 2016 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Aduro Biotech, Pancreatic cancer, Stock, drug trial, markets 

Shares in Aduro Biotech (Nasdaq: ADRO) dropped to closed down over 16% after the company said mid-stage trials of its drug to treat pancreatic cancer failed to improve overall survival.

Pre-market trading in the shares was halted Monday following the news. Aduro’s shares fell 33% in premarket trading.

In the study, patients were given either CRS-207 or chemotherapy or a combination of CRS-207 with Aduro’s GVAX Pancreas, the company said.

Chief Executive Stephen Isaacs said: “This is an unexpected outcome,” adding “we are surprised by the divergence of these data from the results of our Phase IIa study.”

It is estimated that more than 337,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year and more than 330,000 people die from the disease. Despite steady advances in diagnosis and treatment that have dramatically improved outcomes and extended survival in many tumor types, pancreatic cancer remains one of the world’s deadliest cancers, with a five-year survival rate of 8%.  While pancreatic cancer is the eleventh most common cancer in the United States, it is now the third leading cause of cancer-related death.

CRS-207 is engineered to induce an immune response to the tumour-associated antigen mesothelin. The compound was granted breakthrough therapy designation by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2014 in combination with GVAX Pancreas for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Aduro shares closed down 16.7% to $8.91 on the Nasdaq Monday.

Anjali Shukla

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