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Emergent BioSolutions, Abbott Labs End Collaboration

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (NIH)

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (NIH)

As reported yesterday, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. in Rockville, Maryland has started a phase 2 clinical study of its drug candidate TRU-016, a program conducted in partnership with pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbott Laboratories. Emergent BioSolutions now says that Abbott Laboratories has ended the partnership agreement to develop and commercialize the compound.

Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, president of Emergent BioSolutions says the company “remains committed to continued clinical evaluation of TRU-016 in B-cell malignancies.” The agreement, according to Emergent,  remains in effect until 20 March  2012. While the agreement remains in effect, says the company, Abbott has an obligation to pay any milestone payments that are triggered as well as half of the collaboration project costs agreed to between Abbott and Emergent.

Emergent developed TRU-016 to treat B-cell malignancies, such as CLL. According to the company, preclinical research has shown TRU-016 to have anti-tumor therapeutic potential, both alone and in combination with bendamustine, a drug already approved for the treatment of CLL and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A phase 1b trial determined tolerable doses for TRU-016.

The phase 2 trial will test the safety and efficacy of TRU-016 in combination with bendamustine compared with bendamustine alone in a total of some 100 randomized patients, divided equally between test and control groups. The subjects will be relapsed CLL adult (age 18 or older) patients with one to three prior treatments, but no prior bendamustine treatments.

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