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AbbVie shuts down Rova-T development in first-line advanced small-cell lung cancer following another trial failure

Published on 30/08/19 at 10:51am

AbbVie has announced its intention to terminate development of Rova-T (rovalpituzumab tesirine) in the first-line maintenance of advanced small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

The decision was reached on the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee, following the failure of the drug to show survival benefit compared to placebo following platinum-based chemotherapy during a pre-planned interim analysis. Despite this failure, it was noted that the therapy’s safety profile was consistent with previous data.

The company already cut short a study last year investigating the efficacy of Rova-T in the second-line treatment of advanced SCLC after it failed to outperform topotecan.

AbbVie said that it will be focusing its efforts elsewhere in its oncology pipeline by prioritising other developments programmes.  It also confirmed that full results from the failed trial will be presented at a future medical meeting.

"Small-cell lung cancer continues to be one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers where there is a significant need for transformative therapies. We are disappointed with this outcome for the patients who suffer from this disease," said Dr Margaret Foley, Vice President, Global Head of Solid Tumor Development at AbbVie. "We remain committed to researching and developing other therapies with the potential to transform care for patients with small-cell lung cancer and other malignancies."

Matt Fellows

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