The results of cancer studies with targeted therapies often produce results that are a mixed bag, as ImClone Systems
The announcement of the failed lung cancer trial does not signal the end of ImClone's hopes to get Erbitux approved to treat this difficult cancer. ImClone currently has other studies in NSCLC underway. It's always tough to achieve solid results in metastatic (spreading) cancers, and failure in one study does not always preclude success in another study in the same indication with different drug combinations or patient groups.
The failed study does come as some surprise, though, because another epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeting compound like OSI Pharmaceuticals'
Other approved cancer compounds with different molecular targets such as Genentech's
Investors who waited to see the positive ASCO Erbitux colorectal cancer data before buying shares of ImClone -- but were put off by the stock jumping above $47 a share in May -- have finally received the discount on shares that they have been waiting for, with shares now more than 25% lower from that 52-week high. This failed clinical trial is definitely not good news, but neither does it signal Erbitux's failure in this growing and lucrative cancer treatment space.
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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.