Oncogenex $OGXI will present updated (first data presentation was at ASCO-GU in early 2012) randomized phase 2 prostate cancer data for OGX-427 at ASCO 2012 - stay tuned as the abstract will be released May 16th.
1q-2012 Partner Update:
OGXI is partnered with Teva Pharma $TEVA for their lead cancer drug custirsen, with phase 3 trials ongoing in prostate cancer and proposed for non-small cell lung cancer. This program is virtually never mentioned on Teva webcasts, and that was again the case this quarter. However, it is important to note that following the acquisition of Cephalon by Teva, the combined research and development pipelines are ongoing a thorough review and re-prioritization led by the newly appointed CEO Jeremy Levin. Here is what he said about the process:
"So let me just touch on the reviews. As I've said to you the -- we are conducting an extensive review. This is not just of pipeline, it's across the board, it's the business, it's the -- in the different geographies. It's also the manufacturing footprint. It's the pipeline, our capabilities in R&D and the individuals, the people that we have. This is part of a normal process that any CEO does. It's not something unusual to what -- is undergoing in Teva. We've identified a number of different processes that we'll undergo to look at that. And amongst those is the process to look hard at the pipeline. Now as you know, that pipeline was looked at last year, and I think at this stage it's premature to say that there's any changes whatsoever from that. But I anticipate as Michael comes on board and works with me and others around the table, we'll have a much clearer view of that a little later in the year."
It goes without saying that if Teva abandoned the OGXI partnership, OncoGenex would be in deep trouble - they do not have nearly the required resources to fund and operate the global phase 3 program for custirsen. However, there is no immediate reason to worry about this outcome. If OGXI was truly on the chopping block, it would be an odd decision by Teva to commit to a brand new phase 3 overall survival prostate cancer clinical trial in combination with the second-line chemotherapy agent JEVTANA (cabazitaxel), rather than simply abandoning the SATURN pain palliation trial. In any case, it is a situation that bears monitoring for all OGXI investors.