Monday, October 25, 2010

Small Cancer Drug Candidate -- But Mildly Good Mid-Stage Study News: Ariad And Merck

Okay -- the limitations: it's a small study (114 patients); and on a fairly early stage (Phase II) candidate; and it has been stopped early. So we'll not know for quite a while whether there are other reasons to be concerned about any interactions from Ridaforolimus. Still, it is mildly good news, per Reuters reporting:

. . . .Patients taking stand-alone treatment with ridaforolimus, which Ariad is developing in partnership with Merck, went significantly longer without a worsening of symptoms than did patients receiving standard medicines, Ariad said. Half the 114 patients in the study received oral ridaforolimus, while others received either oral progestin or chemotherapy.

Cowen and Co. has estimated the medicine, which blocks a protein called mTor, could generate sales of $250 million in 2015 if it is approved. . . .

So, this simply will. not. move. the needle. at Merck, near term. It is clearly a longer-horizon, non-blockbuster potential drug candidate (at only $250 million per year, and not until 2015) -- but it is good news -- something that's been in short supply lately, at Whitehouse Station.

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