A new cancer vaccine has failed its primary-stage development trials. A story by MedPage Today reports that GlaxoSmithKline PLC (“GSK”) has announced its experimental cancer vaccine MAGE-A3 has failed to meet requirements to slow progressions to advanced stages of Melanoma.
This is a huge setback for the pharmaceutical giant. GSK claims the drug did not meet a primary goal in a late-stage trial in patients with melanoma, which was hoped to significantly extend the disease-free life of patients compared with placebo. However, the company announced they will continue to investigate data from this study and hope to have results by mid-2014.
MAGE-A3, one of GSK’s more promising drugs currently in development, is “an antigen-specific cancer immunotherapeutic, designed to train the immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells in a way that mitigates side effects.” The vaccine is among a new string of drugs from GSK either in trial stages or scheduled for decisions this year, and is seen as a hopeful contender in the promising new field of cancer vaccines.
Executives at the company revealed that GSK’s stock shares have risen since the beginning of this year due to the anticipation that this new drug would succeed. A few months ago, GSK predicted earnings of near $2 billion for MAGE-A3, but since the failure announcement this week, analysts are estimating earnings of only $240 million.
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