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PharmaMar drug helps shrink tumors in small cell lung cancer patients

Pharma Mar SA's medicine Zepsyre helped shrink tumors in patients with small cell lung cancer.

The Madrid-based biopharmaceutical company evaluated Zepsyre, or lurbinectedin, in a phase 2 trial consisting of patients whose disease returned after initial treatment. The study consisted of 105 patients from nine countries in Europe and the U.S.

Small cell lung cancer accounts for 15% to 20% of lung cancer diagnosis, according to PharmaMar.

The trial met its main goal of measuring overall response rate, which shows the percentage of patients in whom tumors shrank by a predefined amount and for a minimum amount of time.

The secondary goals of the trial were to measure safety, overall survival and how long patients lived without their disease worsening, among others.

PharmaMar said that results from the trial will be presented at a major medical meeting.

The company added that it is also waiting for results from a phase 3 study, dubbed Atlantis, to treat patients with small cell lung cancer whose disease returned after initial treatment. Recruitment for the study was completed in July 2018.

Earlier in September 2018, a phase 1/2 study of lurbinectedin in combination with chemotherapy showed favorable data in treating patients with small cell lung cancer whose disease came back after a period of improvement. The drug, however, failed a phase 3 study for treating patients with platinum-resistant or chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer.

Lurbinectedin received the orphan drug status in the U.S. in August 2018.