Onyx touts data on promising multiple myeloma drug

The American Society of Hematology meeting underway now in New Orleans provided a big stage for Onyx to tout promising new mid-stage data on a cancer therapy acquired last month in its $851 million buyout of Proteolix.

Interim data from two small mid-stage trials demonstrated that carfilzomib could produce a positive response among patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. A 20-milligram dose produced a 46 percent response rate among patients who had not been treated previously with Takeda's Velcade but had relapsed or worsened after trying other therapies. And 53 percent responded after the dose was increased to 27 mg. Among a group that had been treated with Velcade, the overall response rate was 18 percent.

"These interim results suggest that carfilzomib could benefit patients with multiple myeloma who are no longer responding to current therapies," said Dr. David Siegel, co-investigator of the studies.

"I think it's very significant," says George Farmer, an analyst with Canaccord Adams. "The drug is extremely safe," he tells FierceBiotech. While the study group was small, the signs of efficacy are encouraging. And the drug also looked promising when combined with Celgene's blockbuster Revlimid. "It's even more important to show you can combine it safely, that you don't have to reduce the dose of the other agent."

- check out the Onyx release
- here's the press release on the combination Revlimid data
- read the story from Reuters