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Kosan Slips on Study Results

It cites early promise.

Kosan Biosciences


released early results from small studies on its proposed cancer drug alvespimycin.

In trials looking at safety and efficacy, among other things, infusions of the treatment showed some activity against leukemia in patients whose disease didn't respond to prior treatments, the company reported Monday.

"We plan to explore the full potential of this exciting and promising compound in later-stage trials in a variety of tumor types," said Dr. Robert Johnson Jr., Kosan's president and CEO.

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The drug is being tested in blood cancers, solid tumors and in breast cancer in combination with



cancer drug Herceptin. Researchers are also testing a version of the drug taken orally in an early trial to treat patients with solid tumors.

Larger trials on the drug are expected to begin in the first half of 2007, and the company expects to focus on filing for the drug's approval to treat metastatic breast cancer later next year.

Shares fell 1.4% to $4.99.