Tracon stumbles in glioblastoma study
- Tracon Pharmaceuticals last week hit a clinical setback in the development of its endoglin antibody TRC105, reporting disappointing results from a Phase 2 study testing the drug in recurrent glioblastoma.
- According to the topline results, TRC105 paired with Avastin (bevacizumab) failed to beat out Avastin monotherapy in improving median progression-free survival following chemoradiation treatment.
- The Phase 2 study had been funded and run through a program at the National Cancer Institute. Tracon plans to begin dosing patients soon in a Phase 3 trial studying TRC105 in angiosarcoma.
Glioblastoma is a high-risk target and a tough cancer to treat. Most cases of glioblastoma recur, and the median length of survival is 12 to 18 months, with a five-year survival rate of about 10%.
Tracon had hoped to see a three-month improvement in PFS in the treatment arm, compared to Avastin monotherapy, but topline results indicated the TRC105 combo missed statistical significance.
TRC105, an antibody targeting the endoglin protein, is in development for a range of other types of cancer. Analysts from the investment firm Jefferies believe Tracon still has opportunities for "multiple viable shots on goal." Data readouts for Phase 2 trials in renal cell carcinoma, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia and hepatocellular carcinoma are expected by the end of 2017.
The San Diego-based company also recently secured agreement from the Food and Drug Administration for a special protocol assessment on the protocol design for its planned Phase 3 trial pairing TRC105 with Votrient (pazopanib), another drug active against VEGF.
The design of the study allows Tracon to expand it from an initial enrollment of 124 patients to a maximum of 200 patients based on an interim analysis, which is expected in the first half of 2018.
All that clinical work costs money though, and Tracon may have to seek additional funding to complete its R&D work. As of Sept. 30 of last year, the company reported $35.1 million in cash and short-term investments. That figure will be boosted by a recent public offering of common stock, which raised $17.4 million before expenses and fees.
Tracon plans to use the cash to help fund development of TRC105 in angiosarcoma, as well as other working capital needs.
- Tracon Pharmaceuticals Statement
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