Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.SNTA fell 63.7% after the company announced that it has decided to terminate the phase III GALAXY-2 study evaluating ganetespib in combination with Sanofi's SNY Taxotere (docetaxel) in the second-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Overall the stock is down 67.2%.
The company decided to discontinue the GALAXY-2 study after the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) concluded that the addition of ganetespib to Taxotere is unlikely to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in the overall survival (primary endpoint) compared to Taxotere alone.
Meanwhile, the company continues to evaluate ganetespib for other indications including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.
Termination of the phase III GALAXY-2 study on ganetespib for NSCLC is a huge setback for Synta considering it is the only late-stage candidate at the company. The company is highly dependent on ganetespib for growth. Positive data from the study would have enabled the company to file regulatory application for ganetespib for NSCLC next year.
The company is in preliminary partnership discussions for ganetespib. Entering into a partnership agreement could provide Synta with upfront payments and cost-sharing provisions. However, disappointing data on ganetespib could impact partnership discussions adversely.
Synta carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A couple of favorably ranked stocks in the health care sector include Nexvet Biopharma Public Limited Company NVET and Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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