UC Davis & Moffitt Cancer Center suspend KaloBios cancer trial after Shkreli debacle
- Martin Shkreli was arrested last week and charged with illegally using funds from his former biotech Retrophin in order to pay off investors at his former hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare in what federal authorities have described as a "Ponzi-like" scheme. He is facing both federal criminal charges and a civil SEC complaint.
- Since then, the fall-out has been harsh, including public excoriation, being ousted from KaloBios as CEO, and now, having reputable research centers like UC Davis and the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida cancel a clinical trial of KB003, a monoclonal antibody in development for treatment of leukemia.
- Despite the fact that Shkreli has been ousted, Moffitt Cancer Center has no interest in continuing the trial.
According to ClinicialTrials.gov, the study is a multicenter, open-label, repeat-dose, phase 1 study consisting of a dose escalation phase (part 1) and a dose expansion phase (part 2) to evaluate safety, pharmacokinetics, and clinical activity.
In short, this is a dose-escalating safety study, meaning it's still in early phases. If this were a phase 3 trial, the implications of stopping the trial would be entirely different. Most likely the trial will be picked up by another research center.