Novelos shelves failed lung cancer program

Novelos Therapeutics is opting to dump a lead program for non-small cell lung cancer. The Newton, MA-based developer confirmed that NOV-002 had failed both primary and secondary endpoints for NSCLC in a pivotal trial, which is forcing the company to discontinue development of the therapy for that indication. But the CEO tried his best to put the best face possible on the news as he tried to focus attention on the mid-stage work now underway.

"Moving forward, our Phase II programs continue in cancer and hepatitis with our oxidized glutathione-based compounds," said CEO Harry Palmin. "We expect results from an ongoing NOV-002 Phase II breast cancer trial in 3Q 2010, and are scheduled to present new NOV-002 nonclinical data at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in April 2010. We also expect to initiate a Phase II hepatitis C trial shortly with our second compound NOV-205. Meanwhile, we intend to rebuild our pipeline through licensing or acquiring clinical-stage oncology compounds, utilizing our experienced and proven development team."

The news had little immediate effect on the company stock (NVLT), which was hammered in February after the developer announced that NOV-002 had failed to hit the primary endpoint in Phase III for lung cancer. Shares were trading at around 22 cents this morning.

- take a look at Novelos' release