AstraZeneca's Recentin fails lung cancer trial

AstraZeneca says it will push ahead with late-stage studies of Recentin for colorectal cancer after shelving plans for a Phase III in non-small cell lung cancer due to toxicity concerns. The announcement represents a major blow to AstraZeneca, which stood to benefit from a much bigger market for lung cancer than colorectal cancer, where it could end up in a face-off with Avastin. AstraZeneca's possible earnings for Recentin in lung cancer had been estimated at a potential billion dollars. Now AstraZeneca, which has been plagued by trial failures, faces an uphill struggle in late-stage trials proving Recentin works better than Avastin.

"Although evidence of clinical activity was seen, there appeared to be an imbalance in toxicity and therefore the study was considered not to have met the pre-defined criteria for automatic continuation into Phase III," said the company about the lung cancer trial.

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