This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Threshold's Pancreatic Cancer Drug Boosts Survival -- With an Asterisk

Updated with new information.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- Threshold Pharmaceuticals' (THLD - Get Report) TH-302 boosted the survival of pancreatic patients, but data from the mid-stage study raised concerns and caused the stock to fall.

At the median, TH-302 survival data are impressive. The combination of a higher dose of TH-302 plus gemcitabine yielded a median overall survival of 9.2 months versus 6.9 months for gemcitabine alone. That's a median survival benefit of 2.3 months, which is meaningful for any pancreatic cancer trial. [Consider that <b>Roche</b> and <b>Astellas'</b> Tarceva was approved in pancreatic cancer based on a two-week survival benefit.]

The broader survival analysis of the same Threshold study does not look as favorable, however. Adding TH-302 to gemcitabine only reduced the relative risk of death by 4.5% over gemcitabine alone -- a small benefit that was far from statistical significance.

Threshold shares fell $1.67 or 19% to $7.05 in Monday trading, sparking conversation on Twitter over how best to evaluate TH-302 and its potential in pancreatic cancer.

Based on these phase II data, Threshold and partner Merck KGaA are in the process of designing a phase III study of TH-302 in pancreatic cancer.

Threshold announced the survival data from the TH-302 phase II pancreatic cancer study Monday in advance of presentation at the European Society of Medical Oncology meeting on Sept. 29.

This phase II study enrolled 214 pancreatic cancer patients and randomized them to treatment with TH-302/gemcitabine or gemcitabine alone. As presented earlier this year, treatment with TH-302/gemcitabine led to a two-month improvement in progression-free survival of 5.6 months compared to 3.6 months for gemcitabine alone. The benefit in PFS was statistically significant, although there were some imbalances in patients' baseline criteria that favored TH-302 and may have skewed results.

Approximately one-third of patients in the gemcitabine arm "crossed over" to receive TH-302 after tumor progression. Threshold says this crossover did contribute to an increase in survival in the study's control arm. In older studies, including the pivotal study of Tarceva, patients treated with gemcitabine lived about six months.

Celgene (CELG - Get Report), Clovis Oncology (CLVS) and Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM - Get Report) are expected to announce results from their own closely watched pancreatic cancer drug trials before the end of the year.

Prior to Monday's fall, Threshold shares were up more than 500% this year based on optimism for TH-302.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CELG $103.41 0.00%
CLVS $13.91 0.00%
PPHM $0.35 0.00%
THLD $0.44 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs