Telik ( TELK) plunged 30% Tuesday on startling information about its trial for experimental cancer treatment Telcyta, while other health care companies previewed their clinical work ahead. Telik late Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration had halted a study on the company's experimental cancer treatment Telcyta. Data released this weekend showed the drug had a negative survival rate and in fact hastened the deaths of women with advanced ovarian cancer as well as in a separate study of patients with small cell lung cancer. For more on this, check out TheStreet.com's
coverage of Telik by senior writer Adam Feuerstein, who is attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting this week. Telik was down $1.34, to $3.24. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which includes Telik, was down 1.74, or 0.2%, to 834.52. Meanwhile, late-stage clinical trials and filings kept some biotech names out of the red. Antigenics ( AGEN) said Tuesday that GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) launched a phase III clinical trial evaluating its investigational Mage-A3 Antigen-Specific Cancer Immunotherapeutic (ASCI) in non-small cell lung cancer. The stock rose 14 cents, or 5.1%, to $2.89. After yesterday's big gain on positive results for liver cancer treatment Nexavar, Onyx Pharmaceuticals ( ONXX) continued climbing Tuesday after Prudential changed its price target for the company from $25 to $31. The stock was up 79 cents, or 2.4%, to $34.31.
Biovest International ( BVTI), a majority-owned subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals ( ABPI), announced it's going to file for conditional approval of Biovax, a therapeutic anticancer vaccine, for follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The company said it would be able to begin commercial sales and marketing by early 2009 if it's granted conditional approval by mid-June of 2008. The company would have to complete a phase III study that is ongoing in order to continue marketing the vaccine. Biovest shares, which trade Over The Counter, were up 8 cents, or 18%, to 52 cents, while Accentia Biopharmaceuticals was higher by 10 cents, or 3.5%, at $3. Pfizer ( PFE) announced late Monday that it is advancing three experimental cancer drugs into phase III trials this year for different types of tumors. Its thyroid cancer treatment Axitinib will enter phase III trials for pancreatic cancer. Also, the company told analysts that its experimental drug CP-751,871 will enter a phase III trial for non-small-cell lung cancer. Pfizer's Sutent, which is now in phase III trials for breast cancer, will enter phase III trials this year for non small-cell lung cancer, colon and liver cancer. In late stage testing, Sutent might soon compete with Onyx's Nexavar and Genentech's ( DNA) Avastin. Pfizer was down Tuesday 27 cents, or 1%, to $27.26.