Sanofi, Regeneron's aflibercept flunks PhIII trial

Big Pharma's development woes continue. Sanofi-Aventis ($SNY) and partner Regeneron have revealed that their non-small cell lung cancer drug aflibercept (VEGF Trap) given with the chemotherapy docetaxel failed to increase overall survival time compared with docataxel alone. However, the drug did meet the secondary endpoint of improving progression-free survival when added to chemotherapy. Side effects caused 27.2 percent of patients in the aflibercept arm to discontinue their treatment, compared with 14.6 percent in the placebo arm. The developers say they'll continue to analyze efficacy and safety data from the trial.

"Bringing new and innovative cancer therapies to patients can be incredibly challenging, especially in difficult-to-treat cancers such as second-line non-small cell lung cancer," said Debasish Roychowdhury, SVP and head of Global Oncology Division at Sanofi.

The companies continue to test aflibercept in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer. Sanofi and Regeneron previously stopped development of the treatment for ovarian cancer.

- here's the Regeneron release
- read the Bloomberg article