Too bad, I would have liked to see people with GIST getting the benefit we [CML patients] are getting with the newer TKI drugs.
I wish they could just figure out how to cure Cancer all together, I know it is not that simple, but I can still wish!
Novartis Terminates Tasigna Development In Rare Stomach Cancer
By Anita Greil
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Novartis AG (NVS) Monday said it is discontinuing the development of its cancer drug Tasigna as initial therapy for patients with a rare form of stomach cancer because it is unlikely the drug will work better than its older drug Gleevec, the current standard of care.
This represents a setback for the Swiss drugmaker, which had hoped that Tasigna would emerge as a full replacement of Gleevec, when this its second-best selling drug, loses patent protection in a few years. Tasigna may, however, still be able to offset an expected drop of sales from Gleevec's main use as treatment of a certain type of blood cancer, for which it has already won marketing approval in Europe and the U.S.
Novartis, based in Basel, said an independent data monitoring committee recommended to discontinue a late-stage study comparing Tasigna and Gleevec for use as first-line treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or GIST, after interim results showed Tasigna is unlikely to show that patients given Tasigna will live longer than those taking Gleevec.
Analysts said the trial termination was a disappointment, as, if successful, Tasigna could have achieved annual sales of around $500 million in this indication.
In other news, Novartis new analysis of its multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya showed the pill lowered the risk of the disease getting worse in patients with relapsing-remitting MS, regardless of treatment history.
Novartis shares opened lower. At 0705 GMT, they were down CHF0.15, or 0.3%, at CHF50.60. The stock has lost 7.9% in value so far this year, underperforming the broader European healthcare sector which is down 2.5% year-to-date, as measured by the Stoxx 600 healthcare index.
-By Anita Greil, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8044; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 11, 2011 03:34 ET (07:34 GMT)
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