AZ colon cancer drug is a bust in PhIII

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) has been handed another setback in its quest to come up with some major new products quickly. Researchers say that their latest Phase III clinical trial of Recentin as a first-line therapy for colon cancer was a bust, with the therapy proving no more effective than the chemo drugs currently available for improving the overall survival rate of patients. The drug did meet the co-primary endpoint of progression-free survival, but that wasn't enough to convince the company to push toward a regulatory filing.

Considering that Recentin (cediranib) had already failed a head-to-head trial with Avastin, AstraZeneca now plans to shift focus to other indications in which it could have some real potential and drop its work on colon cancer. That's unwelcome news, particularly as analysts had projected the drug could earn a respectable $400 million a year by 2014.

"Looking at the results from both these trials, we felt they were not strong enough to justify moving forward in this area, given other treatment options available," a company spokesperson tells Reuters. The results of a Phase III study evaluating cediranib as a treatment for recurrent glioblastoma are expected soon.

- check out the AstraZeneca press release
- here's the story from Reuters