Imbruvica flop puts pressure on pancreatic pipeline

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Investors were reminded again last week of what a tough nut pancreatic cancer is to crack. The phase III failure of Abbvie’s Imbruvica in first-line metastatic disease has set up a nervous wait for other pancreatic projects due to yield pivotal data this year. One of the most eagerly awaited readouts involves the Polo trial of Astrazeneca/Merck & Co’s Lynparza in a maintenance setting, but there are a surprising number of projects in late-stage development given the intractable nature of this disease. Not all of these have had a smooth ride: in November Halozyme’s pivotal trial was delayed to the fourth quarter of 2019. And there are still no results from a phase III study of Orient Europharma/Nanocarrier’s nanoparticle-bound chemo Nanoplatin, which had been due to complete last year. After the Tyme Technologies debacle on Friday, companies will be keen for some good news – not least Lilly, whose acquisition of Armo Biosciences was largely based on the potential of pegilodecakin in pancreatic cancer. Data in this setting are expected in 2020, but an earlier lung cancer readout, due later this year, could give hints on the project’s efficacy.

Selected upcoming phase III pancreatic cancer trials 
Project Company Trial ID Outcome
Imbruvica Abbvie/Johnson & Johnson NCT02436668 (Resolve) Failed
Abraxane Celgene NCT01964430 (Apact) Results expected early 2019
Lynparza Astrazeneca/Merck & Co NCT02184195 (Polo) Results expected H1 2019 
Glufosfamide Eleison NCT01954992 Primary completion Jun 2019
PEGPH20 Halozyme Therapeutics NCT02715804 OS readout delayed to Q4 2019
AM0010 (pegilodecakin) Lilly NCT02923921 (Sequoia) Results expected 2020 
Napabucasin Sumitomo Dainippon NCT02993731  Primary completion Dec 2020
Gemzar Unicancer consortium NCT02539537 (Neopan) Primary completion pushed out to Mar 2021
Masican (masitinib) AB Science 20013-002293-41 N/A
Pamrevlumab Fibrogen TBC  Phase III due to start early 2019
Nanoplatin (demplatin pegraglumer) Orient Europharma/Nanocarrier NCT02043288  Status unknown on CT.gov
Source: EvaluatePharma, Clinicaltrials.gov

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