Issue Date: October 27, 2008
Cancer Drug Companies Make Staff Cuts
Cell Genesys will lay off roughly 75% of its 290 employees after terminating a Phase III trial of its lead cancer immunotherapy candidate, GVAX. An independent analysis of the trial, which compared the efficacy of GVAX to Taxotere in treating patients with prostate cancer, showed the vaccine had a less than 30% chance of improving survival. GVAX is made by genetically altering whole tumor cells to secrete a hormone that stimulates the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. Meanwhile, Adventrx Pharmaceuticals is cutting about 27% of its staff, or nine workers, and will narrow its focus to developing ANX-530 and ANX-514, both novel emulsion formulations of existing cancer drugs.
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