Pfizer shutters troubled late-stage cancer trial

Pfizer says it decided to shutter a late-stage trial of one of its potential blockbuster cancer therapies after researchers determined that a combo therapy including figitumumab was unlikely to hit its primary endpoint as a treatment for lung cancer. The move comes just a few months after safety concerns forced scientists to stop enrollment in the trial. But Pfizer says it isn't giving up hope in the drug.

"While these findings are disappointing, Pfizer is committed to using information gained from this study to refine the design of future trials of figitumumab in non-small cell lung cancer," says Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs for Pfizer's oncology business unit.

Researchers had been testing a combination of figitumumab along with paclitaxel plus carboplatin in the trial. A separate trial mixing the therapy with Tarceva is still in progress. Prior to the program's troubles this fall, Leerink Swann analyst Seamus Fernandez had estimated that figitumumab could hit $1.2 billion in annual sales.

- check out the Pfizer release
- here's the Reuters story