Infinity dumps lung cancer drug after PhII trial fails survival test

Infinity Pharmaceuticals ($INFI) had some more bad news to report this morning. Investigators said that its Hsp90 inhibitor retaspimycin hydrochloride failed a mid-stage study for non-small cell lung cancer.

Investigators say that the treatment failed to produce a statistically significant improvement in overall survival, forcing the biotech to wash its hands of the program and concentrate on the lead program for IPI-145. The data will be released at a later scientific meeting.

"Although our Phase Ib data in patients with non-small cell lung cancer were encouraging and there was a strong biological rationale for the combination treatment, further development of retaspimycin HCl plus docetaxel in this very challenging disease is not merited based on data from this rigorously conducted study. We appreciate the support of the patients and caregivers who participated in this trial," said Julian Adams, president of research and development at Cambridge, MA-based Infinity. "We will now focus our clinical research and development effort on IPI-145, our lead PI3K-delta, gamma inhibitor, for which we have encouraging data in patients with life-threatening hematologic malignancies."

IPI-145 is in a Phase II trial for indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma and on the threshold of a Phase III trial in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Infinity was forced to restructure in the summer of 2012 after the failure of its then lead program for saridegib, circling its wagons around IPI-145 and retaspimycin hydrochloride. Since then its stock has soared and then fallen back to earth.

This morning its shares were down just a few percentage points.

Shares of Infinity Pharmaceuticals took a beating back in June as investors reacted to some of the new safety data that the company reported on its PI3K delta/gamma inhibitor IPI-145 at ASCO. The stock is far, far from the $50.09 52-week high recorded in early April. Infinity was reporting early-stage data on the drug, which has captured the attention of many in the biotech community.

- here's the press release