Here's the bad news: Pfizer
Here's the good news: Investors shouldn't have expected much more. That's not a jab at Pfizer -- even if it's sometimes too easy. The company had already stopped enrollment in the trial after the monitoring board saw an increase in side effects, including death, in the patients taking figitumumab.
The trial tested figitumumab in combination with two standard drugs, paclitaxel and carboplatin, compared to paclitaxel plus carboplatin alone. The failure is particularly disappointing because of figitumumab's strong phase 2 results in patients with squamous cell histology. Other drugs like Nexavar, from Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals
It's possible that the side effects in the ended trial were due to the specific combination of figitumumab, paclitaxel and carboplatin, but investors shouldn't hold their breath. Pfizer is still continuing a trial testing figitumumab in combination with Roche and OSI Pharmaceuticals'
The company is also testing figitumumab in other cancers, and it may still work, but I'd hold off on penciling it in as the next Gemzar, which Eli Lilly
Talk about bad news ... Austin Edwards tells you what to do when the Dow hits 7,500 again.