OXiGENE (NASDAQ:OXGN) shares rose in pre-market trading on Monday as it announced on the weekend that follow-up results from a phase two study of Zybrestat showed that patients with non-small cell lung cancer had better response and survival rates.
The controlled, randomized trial, called Falcon, tested Zybrestat in combination with three other treatments, compared to the control arm of the study.
An updated analysis, conducted roughly 11 months after enrollment of the last patient in June of last year, showed that the Zybrestat arm was well tolerated, with no significant cumulative toxicities. The partial response rate was 56% with Zybrestat, and 36% in the standard therapy arm.
In addition, a subgroup showed "meaningful improvements" in the average time to progression of the disease for patients with poor performance status, or sicker patients, OXiGENE said.
While the median time to progression for the overall patient population was similar in both arms of the study, those with poor performance status had a median time of 9.8 months in the Zybrestat arm, versus 3.8 months for the patients in the control group.
The company said that the suggestion that the Zybrestat combination could be especially beneficial in a sicker patient population should be explored in a larger trial.
"With several clinical trials completed in multiple indications, we now have a large body of data showing the excellent combinability potential of Zybrestat," said CEO Peter Langecker.
"In addition, this study provides data in non-small cell lung cancer suggesting that Zybrestat may benefit patients with more advanced stages of disease.
"We believe that designing a development plan based on targeting this subgroup of patients could represent a sensible and achievable clinical strategy."
Zybrestat is a small-molecule drug that targets and collapses tumour cells by depriving them of oxygen, and it is being tested in studies of patients with non-small cell lung cancer, thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer and other clinical trials.
The updated data was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, Illinois.
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