Delcath shares slump after chemo system fails to deliver in PhII cohort

Shares of Delcath Systems ($DCTH) slumped 11% this morning after the drug delivery company said its chemosaturation system did not prove effective in a small, mid-stage trial involving a cohort of colorectal cancer patients.

Delcath's system is designed to concentrate a burst of chemotherapy at a targeted organ, improving the chances of a successful treatment while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. But when researchers used it to deliver melphalan on 16 patients with very advanced cases of colorectal cancer liver metastasis, the treatment failed to trigger any significant responses. The company said that the patients "had been heavily pre-treated with numerous chemotherapeutic and regional modalities that, along with anatomical and disease-related factors in a few, prevented sufficient melphalan exposure."

Delcath says it will try again.

"While the efficacy signal from this study was inconclusive due to the factors mentioned above, we believe there is solid clinical and scientific justification to conduct a new Phase II trial in a well-defined metastatic colorectal patient population who are likely to benefit from chemosaturation with percutaneous hepatic perfusion," says CEO Eamonn P. Hobbs.

- see the Delcath release
- and read the Reuters story