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Bavarian Nordic shares crash on Phase III disappointment for cancer vaccine

Country : U.S.

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LONDON, Sep 18 (APM) - Shares in Bavarian Nordic have plunged by 50% on news that its prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac, partnered on with Bristol-Myers Squibb, failed to impress in Phase III.
The Danish firm said the independent data monitoring committee for the PROSPECT trial told the company that continuing investigation of the drug in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is “futile”.
The trial, which involved 1,297 patients in 15 countries, was testing PROSTVC both alone and in combination with the growth factor granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).
The company's chief executive Paul Chaplin said in a Thursday statement: “We are extremely disappointed for patients that this study of PROSTVAC as monotherapy was not successful.”
He added: “While this is certainly not the desired outcome, we remain steadfast believers in the power of combination treatments, including immunotherapies, to transform the future of cancer therapies.” 
Reuters said on Thursday the company's shares were down 50% at 220 Danish crowns at 9.20am GMT on Friday. They have since climbed slightly.
Hopes had been high for Prostvac, which has been developed in collaboration with the U.S. National Cancer Institute under a cooperative research and development agreement.
BMS signed a deal worth up to $975 million with Bavarian Nordic in March 2015 to acquire rights to the drug. It included a $60 million upfront payment and multiple milestones (APMHE 41713).
There are ongoing studies investigating PROSTVAC in combination with BMS's immunotherapy drugs Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab) (APMHE 50342).
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