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What: Shares of oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ:CLVS) were hammered on Monday, falling nearly 42%, following the release of disappointing clinical data for the company's metastatic pancreatic cancer drug, CO-101.
So what: Details of the LEAP trial were released this morning, showing that Clovis' CO-101 had no difference in overall survival when compared to the current standard of treatment, Gemzar, made by Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY). Both drugs boasted a median survival rate of six months, and, according to its CEO, Patrick Mahaffy during a conference call following the news release (and via Reuters), the results were "even more ambiguous than we could have imagined." Subsequently, Clovis has halted development of CO-101 and will instead focus on CO-1686, its early stage experimental lung cancer treatment, which should have data out in the first half of 2013.
Now what: If that wasn't enough of a kick in the pants, after the bell on Friday, Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) released its earnings results along with a study showing that its cancer blockbuster Abraxane, when combined with Lilly's Gemzar, improved survival rates in patients with pancreatic cancer. Clovis does have one thing going for it: $6.78 in cash per share with no debt; however, even that balance is slowly dwindling because of clinical trial expenses. For now, I'm perfectly happy keeping my distance from Clovis following today's train wreck.
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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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