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Chiron to Discontinue Development of Tezacitabine

Mon, 03/22/2004 - 6:52am
EMERYVILLE, CA (March 22, 2004) -- Chiron Corp. said it has decided to discontinuefurther development of tezacitabine, a next-generation nucleoside analog, based on an analysis of the data from a Phase II trial in patients with gastroesophageal cancer.

The compound did not demonstrate sufficient anti-tumor activity in the trial to satisfy Chiron's predetermined criteria to advance the program, the company said, adding that no safety issues were identified in treatment with tezacitabine. The company previously had announced that it had concluded Phase II development of tezacitabine in patients with colorectal cancer.

"We had set explicit milestones for ourselves so that we could quickly and efficiently reach a conclusion about the program,” Stephen Dilly, senior vice president ofdevelopment at Chiron BioPharmaceuticals, said. “We are now evaluating our options for the tezacitabine program.”

Dilly said the company remains focused on developing new treatments for cancer, including its programs for Proleukin(R) in combination with rituximab and for CHIR258, its growth factor kinase inhibitor.

Chiron acquired tezacitabine in January 2002 with the purchase of MatrixPharmaceutical. Chiron Corp, headquartered here, commercializes its products through three business units: BioPharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Blood Testing.

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