Zeltia Halts Irvalec Trials and Concentrates on Core Treatments

Spain’s Zeltia has announced that after a portfolio review, its PharmaMar unit has decided to end the development of one of their marine-based cancer drugs, Irvalec, and instead focus on advancing five drugs, including the already-approved Yondelis.

Zeltia is a world-leading biopharmaceutical organisation, specialising in the development of marine based drugs for use in oncology and central nervous system illnesses.  PharmaMar is part of the Zeltia Group, and is a biotechnology company working in advancing cancer care through the discovery and development of innovative marine-derived medicines.

The Madrid-based organisation observed that Phase II study data from clinical trials of Irvalec indicated that the drug demonstrated substantial activity as a treatment for large cell undifferentiated carcinoma of the oesophagus.  However, PharmaMar noted that the tumour subtype arises in under 1% of cancers of the oesophagus, meaning that continuing development of the drug is not commercially worthwhile.

Instead, the firm will invest further into the development of Yondelis (trabectedin), which is already approved in Europe for advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) and relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.  It is also in Phase III as a first-line treatment of soft tissue sarcoma.

Two other important drugs for PharmaMar currently are Aplidin (plitidepsin), which is in Phase III for multiple myeloma and Phase II for T cell lymphoma, and Zalypsis, which is in Phase II for MM and Ewing’s sarcoma.  Making up the five compounds are two early-stage antitumour agents PM060184 and PM01183, for which impressive initial results have been seen.



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