WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., - Endocyte, Inc., (Nasdaq:ECYT) announced that it has regained the worldwide rights to vintafolide in all indications from Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Following a comprehensive portfolio assessment, Merck, through a subsidiary, has decided that it will no longer pursue development of vintafolide.
Endocyte will evaluate vintafolide for future development opportunities pending final results from the Phase 2b TARGET trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The companies announced in March that the TARGET trial met its primary progression-free-survival (PFS) endpoint and overall response rates and early overall survival (OS) trends were positive. Neither company has received updated overall survival data since that announcement.
"We look forward to presenting detailed data from the ongoing Phase 2b TARGET trial at an upcoming scientific conference later this year, which will inform the path forward for vintafolide," said Ron Ellis, Endocyte's president and chief executive officer. "We remain confident in our SMDC platform and are in a strong financial position to continue to advance two proprietary SMDCs with the more potent tubulysin warhead. Tubulysin has demonstrated curative activity in preclinical models that were resistant to paclitaxel, cisplatin and vintafolide.
These two SMDCs are currently in Phase 1 development: EC1456, targeting the folate receptor, and EC1169, targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)."