Pipeline updates are highly awaited events in the
pharma/biotech sector as they play an important role in deciding
whether or not to invest in a particular company. These updates
provide information on experimental drugs and at times give an
insight into the commercial potential of the candidate once it is
successfully developed and commercialized.
Earlier this week,
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) announced that it has initiated a phase II pivotal study that
will evaluate the safety and efficacy of AP26113 in locally
advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in
patients who had previously been treated with
) Xalkori (crizotinib).
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ARIAD said that patients who test positive for the anaplastic
lymphoma kinase (ALK+) oncogene will be studied in the ALTA (ALK
in Lung Cancer Trial of AP26113) trial.
The study will focus on patients who suffer from active brain
According to the American Cancer Society, currently nearly 3%−5%
of NSCLC patients in the U.S. are ALK+. The American Cancer
Society estimates that approximately 224,000 people in the U.S.
will be newly diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014.
Currently approved NSCLC treatments include
) Tarceva, Boehringer Ingelheim's Gilotrif and Xalkori.
Meanwhile, ARIAD expects to complete patient enrolment for the
ALTA study in the third quarter of 2015. The first data from the
study should be out in 2015. ARIAD expects to conduct final data
analysis after patients complete six months of treatment with
ARIAD carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in
the health care sector is
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).