ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN): Breast Cancer Drug Fail In Crucial Trial

ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN) and Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) failed to obtain the results that they wanted in a crucial late-stage study of a breast cancer compound. The compound, Kadcyla, uses a drug technology developed by ImmunoGen and is designed for the treatment of breast cancer and the unsuccessful test involved patients with previously untreated cancer cases. However, the drug is already approved for use in patients that have tried other treatments before or whose cancer has spread.

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Not better than another treatment

On December 19, Roche said that a late-stage trial of Kadcyla didn’t deliver the improvement required compared to another treatment. In particular, Roche didn’t find Kadcyla to be better in improving progression-free survival period in patients that used it compared to patients that took another regimen. The drug was tested in patients with untreated cancer cases.

Progression-free survival is the time from the initiation of a treatment until when the cancer begins to either advance or the patient dies.

ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN)’s chemical in Kadcyla helps to link the components of the drug together until they bind to cancer cells. The drug compound also contains another powerful chemotherapy chemical.

All is not lost

According to ImmunoGen’s CEO, Daniel Junius, the outcome of the late-stage trial of Kadcyla was disappointing. However, he said that all was not lost because their partner, Roche, still had several trial of Kadcyla underway. One of the studies involving Kadcyla relates to the treatment of gastric cancer.

Junius assured that the unexpected outcome in the study of Kadcyla will not affect their performance guidance for 2015. ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN) generates most of its revenue from partnerships with big drug companies. Such partners include Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY), Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) and Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) among others. However, the company generated less than a third of its revenue from royalty payment arrangement with Roche.

Financial highlight

ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMGN) disclosed revenue of $13.20 million in the most recent quarter. That was a significant increase from $5.74 million in the previous quarter. It concluded the quarter with $121.80 million in cash, which declined from $142.26 million in the prior quarter.

About the Author

Adam is a staff reporter for US Markets Daily Publications & Media, covering foreign affairs and domestic policy.

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