Marshall Edwards shares crash on PhIII cancer failure

Shares of Marshall Edwards (NASDAQ: MSHL) plummeted yesterday evening after the developer reported that its therapy for ovarian cancer--phenoxodiol--had failed to hit key endpoints in a late-stage trial. Australia's Novogen licensed the drug to Marshall Edwards, which it also holds a majority interest in.

Researchers reported that the oral formulation of their drug failed to achieve the kind of progression-free survival or overall survival results they needed to ace the study. The trial recruited 142 patients, fewer than half the number that had been planned, after the developer changed the criteria for the study. And investors wasted no time in bailing out, sending Marshall Edwards and Novogen shares down by 50 percent. 

"Owing to the fact that this trial was significantly underpowered due to the small number of patients enrolled, we were disappointed, but not entirely surprised by the final outcome," said CEO Dr. Daniel P. Gold, in a statement. But the developer plans to persevere.

"Novogen intends to continue to focus on its isoflavone platform which includes triphendiol, a more potent analogue of phenoxodiol, and NV-128 which has a different pathway to achieving cancer cell death," said the company in a statement.

- see Marshall Edwards' release
- read the story from the Sydney Morning Herald
- here's the report from Bloomberg