December 31, 2009 09:56 ET

Novelos' (NVLT.OB) Study Patients Continue to Live Longer as Pfizer Stops Lung Cancer Study

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 31, 2009) - BioMedReports.Com, the news portal which covers Wall Street's biomedical sector and delivers financial and investment intelligence to a community of highly informed investors, is reporting Pfizer Inc. has announced that it has decided to discontinue the late-stage study of its lung cancer candidate figitumumab (CP-751,871) while Novelos' (OTCBB: NVLT) pivotal Phase 3 trial, with a primary efficacy endpoint of improvement in median overall survival, continues across approximately 12 countries and 100 clinical sites.

Yesterday, it was reported that an independent data monitoring committee found by analyzing data from Pfizer's late-stage study that the addition of figitumumab to a combination of older medications -- paclitaxel and carboplatin -- was unlikely to meet the primary endpoint of improving overall survival compared to the combination of paclitaxel and carboplatin alone.

Meanwhile, Novelos' randomized, open-label, international, pivotal Phase 3 trial continues evaluating NOV-002 in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin versus paclitaxel and carboplatin alone, in approximately 900 patients with Stage IIIb/IV lung cancer.

Other drugs like motesanib, by Takeda Pharmaceutical and Amgen and Nexavar, from Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, have shown negative effects in that cell type, leaving the market wide open for Novelos' NOV-002.

"We actually potentiate the chemotherapy," said Palmin in a recent interview with BioMedReports. "We make the cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy and we also inhibit the cancer's ability to metastasize (spread), so there are all sorts of interesting effects that happen at the tumor level. However, on the normal cells -- for example bone marrow cells and blood cells -- which of course get damaged by chemotherapy -- we don't stop the damage but we do help the recovery from that damage. In the words of big pharma, 'if this Phase III trial is positive, this will be revolutionary for the cancer field.'"

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