FOSTER CITY, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Gilead Sciences' (GILD) experimental cancer drug idelalisab demonstrated long-lasting tumor shrinkage in more than half of patients with advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Responses were durable, with disease progression stalled for an average of 17 months -- noteworthy because CLL patients enrolled in the phase I study had already undergone an average of five prior therapies.
Results from the idelalisab study in CLL were announced Wednesday night in advance of a presentation at next month's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.
Gilead is known best these days for its dominant HIV drug business and soon-to-be-approved crop of hepatitis C therapies. But Gilead is also making a less-publicized push into cancer drug development. Idelalisab is the company's lead cancer asset, picked up through the acquisition of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals in 2011.
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