Korea’s Hanmi Pharm announced Friday it has decided to terminate the clinical development program for Olita (olmutinib) to treat patients with advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
The company said it will not start a planned phase 3 trial of the drug because of lack of a meaningful size of patients.
Hanmi Pharm shares remained weak Friday morning on the news, shedding 1.11 percent to 535,000 won as of midday. They ended the day at 540,000 won, down 0.18 percent.
The drug is symbolic to Hanmi Pharm as it was the first approved novel drug in the pipeline of the country’s leading pharmaceutical company.
In May 2016, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved the drug specifically indicated to treat NSCLC patients who show resistance to previous cancer therapies with the condition of a mandatory post-approval phase 3 trial.
But the company faced a hurdle in patient recruitment after AstraZeneca launched rival drug Tagrisso which is already covered by health insurance.
Hanmi Pharm said it will instead focus resources on 20 candidate drugs in its pipeline.
Hanmi Pharm is now cooperating with local health authorities to deal with any impact from the termination and plans to temporarily deliver for patients who are currently taking Olita in order to avoid any inconvenience.
By Kim Hye-soon and Minu Kim
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