Tiny Ignyta’s Lung Cancer Drug Bested Pfizer’s. Probably. Will We Ever Know For Sure?


“There should have been a drug to prolong Stuart Brown’s life. But when his first option failed him, it seemed there was nothing else to try.

“Then came a drug made by Ignyta Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based drugmaker, that shrank his tumors and has kept them in check for more than a year. Results of a 32-patient study of the drug, presented today at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Yokohama, Japan, show a best case scenario: the medicine shrank tumors in 79% of patients and kept working for a median 28.6 months, about 10 months longer than the current drug, Pfizer’s Xalkori, did in separate clinical trials. Lung cancer doctors are impressed, and the results best what financial analysts say could be a best-case scenario for Ignyta’s stock, which has already increased 200% year-to-date.”

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Ignyta Announces Collaboration with UCSF For Clinical Trial of Entrectinib

“Ignyta, Inc. (Nasdaq: RXDX),a precision oncology biotechnology company, today announced a clinical collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), under which UCSF will study entrectinib in a proof-of-concept clinical trial in cancer patients with metastatic melanoma that is positive for activating alterations to NTRK1/2/3 (encoding TrkA/TrkB/TrkC) or ROS1.

“ ‘We are excited to collaborate with UCSF, a world-renowned academic research institution,’ said Jonathan Lim, M.D., Chairman and CEO of Ignyta. ‘The focus on melanoma in this study will complement the broader range of indications on which we are focused in our own clinical trials, and we expect the findings to accelerate our understanding of the potential role of entrectinib in treating patients with NTRK-positive and ROS1-positive cancers.’

“Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Ignyta will contribute $1 million toward the funding of the clinical trial, as well as per-patient fees based on enrollment of NTRK-positive or ROS1-positive patients and their participation in the trial. Ignyta will also provide UCSF with sufficient supply of entrectinib for use in the clinical trial. In addition to the safety and efficacy data from the trial, UCSF will provide Ignyta with tumor samples and genetic sequencing data for patients screened for inclusion in the trial for further genomic analysis.”