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Highly-Anticipated Lung Cancer Drug Falters

According to Amgen Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., the potential cancer treatment motesanib did not meet a key objective in a late-stage study.

As per the report, the highly-touted drug candidate did not improve the overall chances of survival for patients suffering from non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer. Squamous is the reference that researchers use for the type of cells from which the cancer originally came from.

The study in question utilized 1,090 patients who were receiving some sort of combination of the drug candidate and chemotherapy. Once before, in 2008, the companies stopped the study after initial data revealed a higher death toll among patients that were getting motesanib than those who had been receiving a placebo.

In 2009, however, the study resumed. This time, however, it was with strictly non-squamous patients due to the fact that the squamous patients tended to be more likely to cough up blood during testing.

Non-squamous non small lung cancer makes up two-thirds of non-small cell lung cancer.

"We are disappointed with the results from this trial, but look forward to further analysis of the data which may ultimately help inform future research in this area," said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, in a statement.

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