Spectrum Pharma dumps disappointing BPH therapy

Dogged by disappointing data and daunted by the commercial prospects of their experimental drug for enlarged prostate, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals announced this morning that it is shelving its program for ozarelix and will use the estimated $40 million in savings for its other pipeline prospects.

The experimental therapy failed a mid-stage trial almost two years ago. "The mixed results of the company's earlier mid-stage study and the recently announced failure of AEterna Zentaris's (AEZS) large, late stage, registrational trial of cetrorelix in benign prostatic hypertrophy does not support continued development in this indication", the company said in a statement.

"While ozarelix is a potent GnRH antagonist, low-dose intermittent therapy has been disappointing in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in men with BPH. As a result, we have made the strategic decision to discontinue the ozarelix BPH program," said CEO Rajesh C. Shrotriya, MD. "By discontinuing the ozarelix program, the savings of more than $40 Million we had budgeted for the clinical trials and other related costs will help us advance other programs that have the greatest likelihood of commercial success in providing patients with more effective treatment options. This is part of a concerted effort at streamlining and prioritizing our portfolio."

The decision to drop ozarelix leaves Spectrum with seven drugs in clinical trials and two on the marketplace.

- here's Spectrum's release
- check out the story from Reuters