Results not Promising for New Mesothelioma Drug

As many know too well, there is not much doctors can do for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. This is not say there aren’t a multitude of FDA-approved treatment options, because there are, but even in the best case scenarios, patients undergo invasive and painful procedures and may only be given an extra few months to live.

syringe-1238929-mThere is, however, hope that, one day, there will be real treatment options for mesothelioma patients that can actually arrest the growth of tumors or even force them into remission. One drug that people thought might help doctors and patients achieve these goals was known as VS-6063, being developed by Verestem Inc. pharmaceuticals based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company had recruited patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma in 2011, and, by 2012, the company had announced it was closing enrollment in the study because it had enough patients with the deadly disease to complete the study.

It was believed that if this study was successful, it would lead to the development of a new and effective mesothelioma treatment drug, and the company had staked its financial future on the happening of this occurrence.   Unfortunately for the company and future mesothelioma patients, the study results do not look promising, according to a recent news article from the Boston Globe.

The company said results from the study not did show a high enough efficacy to justify continuing the study. In other words, after the last major round of drug trials, it didn’t work well enough to justify doing any more studies at this time. As our Boston mesothelioma injury attorneys can explain, in order for the Food and Drug Administration to approve a drug, the company must perform enough laboratory and clinical trials to prove the drug is safe and works. If it cannot be proven safe, the drug will not proceed to efficacy testing, since there is no point in finding out if it works if it is not safe to take.

It is also important to note that in the case of deadly diseases like mesothelioma, the FDA may be willing to accelerate the clinical trial process and even accept lower efficacy levels and more safety concerns. The reason for this is because with there being not real effective alternatives to the experimental drug, the agency may use the compassionate use exception to fast track human trials and other safety and efficacy testing.

As a result of their recent release, as required company bylaws and laws for the governance of a publically traded company, stock market investors in the company are running away as fast as they can. On Monday, the price of shares was doing fine; however, when the report was released, people began running away from what they saw a dying stock as soon a possible.   The ultimate goal of the company before running into the problems during the safety testing was to design a drug capable of directly targeting the cancerous cells and left after conventional treatment options get rid of existing cancer cells. In other words, the company wanted its drug to not only cure cancer that already exists, but also to stop future growth of the tumor.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Massachusetts, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional resources:

Verastem shares plunge as drug trial fails, September 28, 2015, Boston Globe, by Robert Weisman

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