GTx Ends Merck Partnership, Regains Muscle Drug

Tue, 03/16/2010 - 5:00am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Drug developer GTx Inc. said Monday it ended a collaboration with German drug maker Merck and Co. on a drug candidate intended to treat muscle loss in cancer patients.

GTx said the partnership ended by mutual agreement. The pact returns to GTx the rights to the drug candidate Ostarine and other compounds designed to treat muscle and weight loss during cancer, a phenomenon known as cancer cachexia. GTx said it plans to advance Ostarine into late-stage clinical testing.

GTx shares fell 31 cents, or 8.2 percent, to close at $3.45 on Monday.

Ostarine is part of a group of drug candidates called selective androgen receptor modulators. GTx said it has tested Ostarine on 582 people in early- and mid-stage clinical trials, and it is planning to hold a meeting with the Food and Drug Administration to discuss late-stage testing. The most recent study ended in October 2008.




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