ImClone's Erbitux Fails Pancreatic Cancer Study

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Includes: BMY, IMCL
by: Judith Levy

Shares of ImClone Systems declined over 7.5% to $39.26 yesterday when it reported its Phase III clinical trial of cancer drug Erbitux failed to meet its primary endpoint. The trial was intended to demonstrate that Erbitux, when used in combination with Eli Lilly's Gemzar chemotherapy drug, would improve overall survival rates for patients with locally advanced irremovable or metastatic pancreatic cancer. ImClone plans to conduct trials of Erbitux in combination with other drugs for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, including Genentech's Avastin. Erbitux already has FDA approval for use in treating colorectal cancer and cancer of the head and neck, and is being evaluated for use in nonsmall cell lung cancer. The drug is ImClone's only product and generated worldwide sales of $1.1 billion last year. Erbitux, which competes with Amgen's new drug Vectibix, is marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, TheStreet.com, MoneyCentral, Reuters, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Amgen's First Cancer Drug May Spark Price War With ImClone • Biotechs Make Appearances in Best and Worst Lists of WSJ Review • Will Biotechs Pay the Price for Playing in the Big Leagues?
Stocks/ETFs to watch: ImClone Systems Inc. (IMCL), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY), Genentech Inc. (DNA). Competitors: Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OSIP). ETFs: SPDR S&P Biotech (NYSEARCA:XBI), First Trust AMEX Biotechnology Index (NYSEARCA:FBT), PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome (NYSE:PBE), Biotech HOLDRS ETF (NYSEARCA:BBH)

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