03.04.2013 - Clavis Pharma has become a target for a take-over after its cancer drug delivery technology failed proof-of-concept for the second time.
In November, US partner Clovis Oncology said it will terminate its partnership with the Norwegian drug developer after CP-4126 , a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic gemcitabine, failed to prove superiority to the original drug in a Phase IIb study. Yesterday, the company’s second lead, elacytarabine, fell through in a pivotal Phase III study on 380 patients with refractory blood cancer AML.
Median survival in the elacytarabine arm was 3.5 months, compared to 3.3 months in the control arm. Adverse events were comparable between the two arms, and no meaningful differences were observed in any subgroup analyses. “We will review the strategic options for the company during the coming weeks, and shareholders will be informed about the alternatives available at a later date. Immediate steps will be taken to minimise our expenditure going forward, while caring for those patients who are still benefiting from elacytarabine,“ said CEO Olaf Hellboe.
All studies with the compound have been suspended. Hellboe announced that Clavis has a short-list of private Scandinavian firms that may be interested in a take-over of the public company. "We have taken two products all way through development with lipid technology and both failed in the big final test," said Helleboe. "That means it will be very difficult to justify putting huge investments in another product with the same technology.“