Dispute forces Thallion to halt patient enrollment

Engaged in a squabble with an unnamed licensor, Thallion Pharmaceuticals has called a halt to patient enrollment for a mid-stage study of its experimental therapy for metastatic melanoma. Thallion says that it wants to see how ongoing binding arbitration talks turn out before deciding what it should do with the oncology program.

"Based on our experience with this licensor, it is in the best long-term interests of our shareholders to suspend development of TLN-232 as opposed to investing additional resources to develop the product under recurring allegations of breach from the licensor and ensuing disputes over a termination of the license," said Thallion CEO Lloyd M. Segal. "We believe that the assertions made against us under the license agreement are without merit. We will vigorously defend our rights in this matter, and we intend to pursue claims of our own against the licensor during the proceedings. We believe this decision represents the most responsible course of action and is especially prudent in light of today's constrained capital environment."

There's a lot left unsaid in the release aside from the name of the licensor, including what the dispute is about. The Canadian biotech describes TLN-232 as a "seven amino-acid peptide with potential efficacy in multiple oncology indications and targets pyruvate kinase M2, a protein shown to be over-expressed in a number of different tumor types."

- check out Thallion's release