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Pfizer Ends Study on Potential Lung Cancer Drug

From Associated Press (March 11, 2010)

NEW YORK -- Pfizer Inc. said Thursday it discontinued a late-stage study of the drug candidate figitumumab in patients with late-stage lung cancer, citing a lack of effectiveness.

The company said an independent monitoring committee recommended stopping the study. It concluded that figitumumab in conjunction with Tarceva will likely not significantly improve the overall survival rate of patients. The study compared its effectiveness against Tarceva alone, which is made by Genentech, a unit of Roche, and OSI Pharmaceuticals.

"This outcome is disappointing to us and to patients with non-small cell lung cancer," said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at Pfizer’s oncology business unit.

He said the company will review its clinical database and use the information from the study to refine the figitumumab program.

The latest study cancellation follows the close of a late-stage study on figitumumab focusing on another type of lung cancer in December.

The company plans on continuing to study the drug candidate in clinical trials focusing on prostate, breast, and other cancers, including types of lung cancer.

Shares of Pfizer rose 14 cents to close at $17.29, then shed 9 cents to $17.20 in after-hours electronic trading.

Posted: March 2010