Antigenics shares punished on Oncophage failure

Antigenics' stock took a beating this morning after the biotech reported that its experimental cancer drug, Oncophage, flunked a late-stage trial. The primary endpoint was an increase in the duration of recurrence-free survival among kidney cancer patients who are at a high risk of the disease after surgery. Researchers said that Oncophage showed a trend toward recurrence-free survival but not enough to show a significant gain. Investors punished the company, sending shares down 44 percent. Antigenics says it will suspend the second phase of the trial as it analyzes the data and determines how best to proceed.

The company also announced an immediate restructuring plan. "This restructuring will involve temporarily discontinuing all late-stage clinical programs and concentrating on Phase I and preclinical programs, including Aroplatin, AG-707, higher-activity Oncophageand AU-801," the company announced. "In addition, Antigenics will continue to support and develop its QS-21 business partnerships, with the goal of generating royalties as early as 2009."

- here's the release for more information

PLUS: Banc of America analyst Lei Zhong hit it on the head a month ago. Report

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