Does AVEO Pharmaceuticals' Tivozanib Work, Or Not?
What makes a cancer drug effective? What if it stops cancer from spreading when you give it to patients - is that effective, or not? This topic has come up around here before, but there may be a rather stark example of it unfolding with Aveo Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) and its drug tivozanib.
Earlier this year, the company announced results of a trial in renal cell carcinoma of the drug versus the Bayer/Onyx drug Nexavar (sorafenib), which is the standard of care. It's not like Nexavar does a great job in that indication, though - when it was going through clinical trials, it ran in RCC patients versus placebo, since - you guessed it - placebo was the standard of care at the time. And while Nexavar did show a benefit under those conditions, there are still plenty of patients who don't respond. Thus tivozanib, and its window of opportunity. The compound itself is in the same broad chemical class (bi-aryl ureas) as sorafenib.
The Phase III results for the Aveo drug showed an improvement in progression-free survival - tracking the time it takes for the cancer to start spreading again.
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