Study Sinks ImClone Shares

The stock drops 8% after Erbitux fails in a lung cancer study.
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ImClone (IMCL) dropped 8% Thursday morning after the company said its Erbitux drug failed in a trial of its use as first-line treatment of advanced lung cancer.

New York-based ImClone said the open-label phase III study of Erbitux plus a taxane and carboplatin in the first-line treatment for metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer "did not meet its primary endpoint of progression-free survival as assessed by an independent radiology review committee."

But the company and marketing partner


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said key secondary endpoints including response rate "were statistically significant and favored the Erbitux-containing arm."

"We consider lung cancer to be a high priority and await the results of other phase II and phase III evaluations of Erbitux in the first- and second-line setting with chemotherapy regimens," said ImClone medical chief Eric K. Rowinsky.

"Efforts to fully interpret these results are ongoing, and the companies plan to submit the data from this study to an upcoming medical meeting in 2007," Bristol said.

ImClone dropped $2.90 to $33.