In a setback to drug maker GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), an experimental product of the company failed in an advanced test of lung cancer for the second time.
The therapy known as MAGE-A3 failed in a cancer study after it didn’t help patients with non-small cell lung cancer live longer without the disease recurring, the London-based company said in a statement today.
Amid the setback, the Glaxo hopes to continue to study the treatment in a smaller group of patients who, the company believes, may respond better to the drug based on their genetic makeup.
The treatment is an immunotherapy which is designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.
According to the company insiders, the drug failed to meet the goal of a late-stage study in patients with melanoma.
Andrew Baum, an analyst for Citigroup Inc., said that the expectations for the product were already low as earlier tests showed a lack of a T-cell response to the injection, a sign that the immune system may not be reacting.
Amid the setback, Glaxo fell 2.1 percent to 1,620.5 pence at 10:36 a.m. in London trading. GSK is the only major drug maker to report its internal rate of return on R&D investment. Its returns had now reached 13 percent, up from 12 percent two years earlier and 11 percent in 2010. It has set a target of reaching 14 percent.