When drugmakers play hot potato after a drug fails, the original rights holder usually ends up holding the spud.
The biotech said yesterday that it had regained North American rights to perifosine, its cancer drug that was being developed by Keryx Biopharmaceuticals
The drug is still in a phase 3 trial for multiple myeloma testing in combination with Velcade sold by Takeda and Johnson & Johnson
It's a little hard to know whether continuing the trial is worth the money. Certainly there are plenty of drugs that have worked with one cancer type but not another -- Pfizer's
It's also not certain how long it will take to run the trial. Keryx said the recruitment for the multiple myeloma trial has been "difficult," and that's not likely to get any easier after doctors heard about the failure in colorectal cancer. There are a couple of interim peeks at the data scheduled, and reading between the lines, it looks like Aeterna Zentaris might be planning to drop the drug at that point if it doesn't seem like perifosine works in multiple myeloma.
Only time will tell whether continuing the trial is a good move for Aeterna Zentaris. While you wait, I certainly wouldn't give the biotech any value for reacquiring perifosine.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer and creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.