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Amgen Slips as Gene-Targeting Drug Misses Some ‘Lofty Hopes’

  • Tumors stopped growing in 6 of 13 patients; shrank in 7 people
  • FDA granted AMG 510 fast track designation for advanced tumors
The chest of a patient with small cell lung cancer.

The chest of a patient with small cell lung cancer.

Photographer: PR M. Brauner/Science Photo Library

Updated on

More than half of patients with an advanced form of lung cancer initially responded to an experimental drug from Amgen Inc. that targets a genetic driver of the disease previously considered impervious to treatment. The stock fell as the drug failed to impress investors.

The highest dose of Amgen’s AMG 510 shrank tumors in seven of 13 patients and the disease was stable in the remaining six, though the benefit didn’t always last. Nine remain in the study and are still taking the daily pill. One patient’s cancer progressed after initially responding to treatment, while three others subsequently died, according to results presented at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Barcelona.