) announced recently that data from a phase II study (n=111) on
its cancer candidate ibrutinib was published in the New England
Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The study is evaluating the safety
and efficacy of the candidate (as a monotherapy) in patients
suffering from relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
Pharmacyclics stated in its press release that MCL, a form of
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, generally affects older adults.
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The MCL patients enrolled in the open-label, multicenter study
were treated with 560mg of ibrutinib (once daily). They were
divided into two groups. While one group of patients were
previously treated with
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
) Velcade (bortezomib), the other group included those who had
not undergone any such prior therapy.
Data from the study revealed an overall response rate (the
primary endpoint of the study) of 68% across both groups. While
the median overall survival for the study is yet to be reached,
the median progression free survival was found to be 13.9 months.
The candidate was also found to be well tolerated in the study.
Moreover, data from another study on ibrutinib as a monotherapy
in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia
or small lymphocytic lymphoma was also published in the NEJM.
Pharmacyclics is co-developing ibrutinib with Janssen Biotech,
Johnson & Johnson
) company. We expect investor focus to remain on the development
Pharmacyclics, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank
) appears to be more attractive in the biopharma space with a
Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).