YM BioSciences has been handed a major setback by a group of cancer experts supervising its late-stage trial of a key experimental therapy. The independent drug monitoring board has advised Canada's YM BioSciences to stop a clinical trial of the cancer drug tesmilifene after initial data indicated it had no beneficial effect on women with metastatic or recurrent breast cancer. The news quickly sent YM's shares into the cellar, losing 54 percent of their value in early trading Wednesday.
Tesmilifene is one of YM's most advanced programs and its halt could have a significant impact on the company. The trial had signed 723 volunteers. YM noted that the trial had not been stopped for safety concerns and after it had a chance to evaluate all of the data from the late-stage study would decide how to proceed. YM BioSciences can turn to two other late-stage products: Nimotuzumab and Aerolef.