Pharmion nets cancer therapy in Cabrellis buyout

Pharmion has acquired a mid-stage lung cancer therapy--amrubicin--in its deal to buy Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals for $59 million up front. Cabrellis shareholders will also get $12.5 million each for a European and U.S. approval and $10 million each for a European and U.S. approval of a second indication. Pharmion says it will begin a Phase III clinical trial of amrubicin in the latter part of 2007 with drug applications for Europe and the U.S. scheduled for 2009. The drug was approved in Japan four years ago.

"The efficacy of chemotherapy for patients with small cell lung cancer has plateaued over the last two decades," said Mark R. Green, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. "In particular, the outlook for patients with extensive SCLC at diagnosis and after failure of first line therapy remains poor. The current efficacy for amrubicin therapy in these SCLC settings is very encouraging."

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