Lung Cancer Drug Tivantinib Fails During Clinical Trial, ArQule Inc. Shelves Product

Update: ArQuel reached out to Inquisitr to clarify that tivantinib has not been fully shelved. According to a company spokesperson “We are continuing to explore tivantinib in clinical trials for the treatment of hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC) and colorectal cancer.”

Lung cancer drug tivantinib has failed to improve survival rates in lung cancer patients, and the product’s manufacturer ArQule Inc. has pulled the product from further testing on lung cancer patients, causing the company’s stock to lose half its value.

ArQule and its partner Daiichi Sankyo of Japan announced on Wednesday morning that they stopped late-stage trial testing for non-small cell lung cancer.

Patients were being treated with tivantinib and Tarceva, another cancer drug; however, they did not live longer than patients treated with Tarceva and a placebo.

ArQule through its trial were trying to determine if a two drug regimen would help patients live longer.

The company lost half its value because tivantinib is the group’s most advanced drug to date. The drug suffered its first setback in August 2012 when partner Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. of Japan temporarily suspended a trial after some patients developed interstitial lung disease. That disease causes scarring on the lung tissue which impairs a patient’s ability to breath.

According to Yahoo New:

“The Woburn, Mass., company said Tuesday that tivantinib and Tarceva were more effective at stopping the progression of lung cancer than Tarceva alone: patients treated with the two-drug regimen had longer progression-free survival, which means they lived longer before death or the resumption of disease progression, whichever came first. The companies enrolled about 1,000 patients in the trial.”

The company has not said whether further clinical trials will be conducted in the future. If further trials occur, it will likely be after improvements are made to the tivantinib product.