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Clavis Falls After Ending Development of Cancer Drug: Oslo Mover

November 12, 2012

Clavis Pharma ASA (CLAVIS), a Norwegian cancer-drug developer, fell the most in six years after data from trials of an experimental treatment for pancreatic cancer prompted it to suspend all development work on the drug.

Clavis declined as much as 91 percent to 6 kroner, the largest drop since its initial public offering in July 2006. The stock was down 87 percent at 8.54 kroner as of 11:02 a.m. in Oslo trading, cutting the company’s market value to 287.9 million kroner ($50.1 million)

The LEAP trial, run by partner Clovis Oncology Inc. (CLVS:US), showed that there was no difference in overall survival between patients taking the drug known as CP-4126 when compared against those taking chemotherapy drug gemcitabine. All development work with CP-4126 across all indications is now suspended, the company said.

The results “are surprising and disappointing given the evidence we have seen from previous studies reported in the literature,” Chief Executive Officer Olav Helleboe said in a statement. “Meanwhile, we continue to believe in the potential of elacytarabine, our lead product, to become an effective new treatment option for acute myeloid leukemia.”

Results from the late-stage “Clavela” trial on elacytarabine will be released in the first quarter of next year, according to the company.

“So far, the company’s technology has not delivered,” said Carsten Loenborg Madsen, an analyst at Carnegie Investment Bank in Copenhagen. “Metastatic pancreatic cancer has always been one of the most difficult cancers to treat. We will have to wait and see the results from the Clavela trial.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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