Pfizer scraps cancer clinical trial

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Pfizer has discontinued a Phase III trial evaluating Sutent (sunitinib malate) in combination with prednisone for men with advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer following disappointing results.

Pfizer has discontinued a Phase III trial evaluating Sutent (sunitinib malate) in combination with prednisone for men with advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer following disappointing results. According to a press statement, the combination was “unlikely to improve overall survival” compared with prednisone alone. The full dataset are being analyzed and will be presented soon.

This isn’t the first setback that Sutent has seen; in 2009, the drug failed another late-stage trial for advanced colon cancer when it was deemed no more effective than standard chemotherapy. Further disappointments also followed when the drug failed trials for advanced breast cancer, lung cancer and advanced liver cancer.

Currently, the treatment is approved for both gastrointestinal stromal tumor after disease progression and advanced/metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Pfizer is also evaluating the drug’s potential for the adjuvant treatment of renal cell carcinoma in a Phase III trial.

Shortly after issuing the statement regarding the drug’s latest failure, Pfizer also released an updated pipeline, which the company claims focuses on value and unmet medical needs. The development pipeline includes 118 programs from Phase I through registration, compared with 133 programs in its last pipeline update issued in January 2010. The latest pipeline reflects 25 programs that are new or that have advanced along the pipeline and 31 programs that have been discontinued since the last update.

www.pfizer.com