Pfizer has abandoned trials of blockbuster drug Sutent as an initial treatment for colon cancer after it failed to prove effective when combined with Folfiri chemotherapy.
The company says there are no safety issues with the drug, which topped sales of £560m million last year and is approved for gastrointestinal and advanced kidney cancers.
It is the second Sutent failure this year. A breast-cancer study was halted in June after the drug was found to not be meeting its treatment goals.
On a positive note, the company reports promising results of trials for patients with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. The company ended a study in March after preliminary results showed Sutent was more effective than a placebo.
Spokesman Dr Mace Rothenberg of the colon-cancer failure said: “Successes and failures are an integral part of cancer drug development and contribute to a growing body of knowledge on improving patient care.”
Copyright Press Association 2009