Antisoma shares tank on bold new trial strategy

Shares of Antisoma took a dive this morning after researchers announced that they would pit ASA404 against Roche and Genentech's Avastin in a late-stage trial. And investors were further unnerved by the announcement that AS1411 will not begin a mid-stage study early next year, as had been planned. Antisoma shares slid 13 percent on the news, with analysts fretting over the decision to pit the cancer therapy against Avastin. Originally, Antisoma and its partner Novartis had planned to only go after squamous cancers, leaving Avastin's non-squamous patients out of the mix. By switching strategies and going after both cancers, investors appeared worried that researchers would find it difficult to attract enough patients away from Avastin to complete the trial in a timely fashion. On the up side, a successful pivotal trial for squamous and non-squamous cancers would double the potential market for the drug.

- see this release
- check out the MarketWatch report on the trial strategy fallout

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