Fate pulls the plug on a cell therapy project after Phase II

Fate Therapeutics ($FATE) is dumping its lead clinical program, moving forward with an early-stage cell therapy the company believes has more commercial promise. The San Diego company is abandoning clinical development of ProHema, a treatment for hematological malignancies that is derived from umbilical cord blood. In a Phase II trial, ProHema demonstrated improved engraftment rates compared to standard hematopoietic cell transplantation, Fate said, but the company is shifting its focus to a preclinical project called ProTmune, which is designed to prevent graft-versus-host disease. Fate is now planning to enroll a Phase I/II clinical trial of ProTmune next year. The company's shares fell about 7% on the news Monday. More