Bloomberg News

4SC Says Compound for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Met Study Goal

September 06, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in fifth paragraph.)

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- 4SC AG said its experimental cancer treatment met the main goal of a mid-stage clinical trial in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prompting a search for a partner to continue development.

The pill, called resminostat, showed anti-tumor activity in about a third of the patients who had a relapsing form of the disease, the Planegg-Martinsried, Germany-based company said in a statement today. A total of 33 patients were studied, enough to determine the product’s efficacy, the drugmaker said.

Resminostat is also being tested in liver cancer and colorectal cancer. Data from a liver cancer trial, the second of three stages of human trials required for regulatory approval, is expected this year and early-stage data for colorectal cancer is due next year. 4SC acquired the drug along with a portfolio of cancer compounds from Nycomed Holding A/S in 2008 for 14 million euros ($19.7 million).

“We are developing quite a broad strategy for this drug,” Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Dauer said in a phone interview today.

4SC shares closed up 5 cents, or 3.4 percent, at 1.63 euros at 5:30 p.m. in Frankfurt trading.

The company sold the Japanese rights to resminostat to Yakult Honsha Co. in April for an upfront payment of 6 million euros. 4SC could receive 127 million euros plus double-digit royalties from the Japanese company if the medicine is approved for sale.

Potential Partners

4SC is in talks with drugmakers to develop and commercialize the product for all three forms of cancer in other parts of the world, Dauer said. The company declined to say how many companies are involved or identify potential partners.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph system, which is part of the body’s immune response. Cells grow abnormally, limiting the ability to fight infection. Resminostat is part of a group of medicines that work by changing the genetic structure of tumor cells to cause their destruction.

The drug is being given to Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who have failed to benefit from two other types of treatments. About a fifth of those with the disease have a 17 percent chance of living five years, Dauer said. Patients in this study, called Saphire, had already received several forms of treatment, and a little more than half had received stem-cell transplantation before taking resminostat, the company said.

Side effects such as nausea and anemia were manageable by adjusting dosage or treating symptoms, 4SC said. The company will discuss further studies of the drug with European and U.S. regulatory authorities, Dauer said.

--Editors: Kristen Hallam, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Allison Connolly in Frankfurt at aconnolly4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net.


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