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Vical's cancer immunotherapy fails in late-stage trial

Allovectin no better than standard chemotherapy

Vical logo

Vical has halted development of its cancer immunotherapy Allovectin after it failed to reach its endpoint in a late-stage trial.

According to the company, Allovectin (velimogene aliplasmid) was no better than first-line chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma when studied as part of a phase III trial involving 390 people.

This was apparent in both the primary endpoint of objective response rate at 24 weeks of treatment and the secondary endpoint of overall survival.

As a result, Vical said it has terminated the Allovectin programme, although detailed results from the trial will be published at some stage.

"We are disappointed that the trial did not meet either the primary or secondary efficacy endpoints, even though we believe it was well-designed and well-executed," said Vijay Samant, president and CEO of Vical.

The disappointment is especially apparent considering the industry's growing interest in cancer immunotherapies, including recent big deals made by Bayer, GSK, Roche, AstraZeneca and Novartis.

Samant also hinted that the trail failure will lead to company restructuring as Vocal looks to focus on its infectious disease vaccine programmes.

"In the coming weeks, we will make the necessary changes to focus resources on our infectious disease vaccine programmes and reduce expenses to conserve cash,” he said.

These programmes include a collaboration with Astellas to research ASP0113 – an investigational vaccine for cytomegalovirus in people who have undergone a transplant.

Elsewhere, Vical plans to initiate a phase I/II trial investigating herpes vaccine Vaxfectin.

Article by
Thomas Meek

13th August 2013

From: Research

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